Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is sweating on the fitness of Sergio Aguero after the Argentina striker suffered a nasty knee injury in the champions’ dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton.
City started their English Premier League title defence in the same way they won the crown last season, recovering from 2-1 down to win in a frantic encounter at Eastlands.
But the victory, which bore more than a passing resemblance to that epic 3-2 triumph against QPR on the final day of last season, was marred by the injury to Aguero, who twisted his knee following a fair challenge from Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne early in the contest.
Aguero was stretchered off the field and taken to hospital for scans on the injury amid fears of ligament damage.
With only 10 days remaining in the transfer window, Mancini admitted that his final activities in the market could well be dictated by the results of those tests.
“We don’t know at the moment, we need to wait maybe two days to get the scans,” said Mancini.
“We hope it’s not serious, but at this stage I don’t know.
“The knee is always dangerous and the injury was so strange. I am worried, yes, but we don’t know yet.
“If it is a serious injury, we will probably change our plans. Maybe he is out for a week, or three or four weeks, or after the international break.”
Mancini had been keen on trying to sign Robin van Persie before the Arsenal forward chose City’s title rivals Manchester United.
In Sunday’s early game, new signing Eden Hazard stole the show on his debut in Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Wigan.
Belgium forward Hazard set up both his side’s goals for Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard within the opening seven minutes at the DW Stadium.
The 21-year-old’s dynamic display bodes well for Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo as he tries to overhaul his team’s style of play.
“I was very pleased with our performance. The first game of the new season can always be tricky,” said Di Matteo.
“The two early goals were a big help.”
City, defending champions for the first time in 44 years, needed late goals from Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri to see off Southampton.
After Carlos Tevez’s first half opener, substitutes Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis had put Saints into a 2-1 lead.
But City’s gritty recovery protected an unbeaten home league run that dates back to December 2010.
Nigel Adkins, the Southampton manager, was understandably buoyed by his team’s performance.
“Our defenders just played against the best forward line they’ve ever played against and acquitted themselves really well,” he said.