Alvaro Negredo came off the bench and scored for the second Premier League game running as Manchester City edged promoted Hull City 2-0 on Saturday.
Manuel Pellegrini's side were labouring in the sunshine at the Etihad Stadium and had to endure several nervous moments before the former Sevilla striker made the breakthrough 20 minutes into the second half.
A sumptuous last-minute free-kick from Yaya Toure settled matters, but after their shock 3-2 loss at Cardiff City last weekend, City once again showed plenty of room for improvement.
City made two changes to their starting XI, with fit-again Matija Nastasic replacing Javi Garcia in central defence and Aleksandar Kolarov coming in for Gael Clichy at left-back, while Danny Graham took the place of suspended striker Yannick Sagbo for Hull.
It was the visitors who made the brighter start, and Sone Aluko should have done better than drag the ball harmlessly wide of the right-hand post after breaking clear in the eighth minute.
Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor produced sharp saves to repel headers from Kolarov and Joleon Lescott, but there was another scare for the hosts when Danny Graham had a volley chalked off for offside.
City manager Pellegrini introduced new signing Negredo in place of the ineffective Edin Dzeko at half-time and the Spaniard almost made an immediate impact, only to completely miscue his header from David Silva's lofted pass.
Negredo would not be denied, however, and in the 65th minute he broke the deadlock with a firm downward header from Pablo Zabaleta's floated right-wing centre.
It had been an arduous afternoon for the 2012 champions, but Toure added a layer of sheen to the result by bending a 22-yard free-kick over the wall and in off the crossbar in the 90th minute.
Cardiff will look to build on last weekend's memorable 3-2 win over City later on Saturday when they welcome Everton to the Welsh capital, while Newcastle United go in search of a first win at home to Fulham.
Elsewhere, Southampton visit Norwich City, Stoke City travel to West Ham United, and the late game sees Crystal Palace tackle Sunderland at Selhurst Park.
Two of English football's most enduring fixtures take place on Sunday, with Manchester United manager David Moyes taking his side to Liverpool for the first time and Arsenal hosting Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby.
Chelsea and Aston Villa are not in action this weekend due to the London club's participation in the European Super Cup, which saw them beaten on penalties by Bayern Munich in Prague on Friday.