A Carlos Tevez-inspired City are back at Wembley after ruthlessly casting aside Barnsley in a one-sided FA Cup quarter-final at the Etihad Stadium.
On this evidence, nobody will want to draw the Premier League champions - who are still yet to concede a goal in the competition so far - in tomorrow’s draw.
Roberto Mancini took the opportunity to rest a number of key personnel for the visit of the Tykes. With Vincent Kompany, Jack Rodwell and Sergio Aguero still side-lined with injury, Javi Garcia, Gael Clichy, Matija Nastasic, Joe Hart and James Milner were all relegated to the bench.
Barnsley, backed by more than 6,000 travelling fans in the sell-out Etihad crowd, had seen a recent dip in form after an incredible run under David Flitcroft that saw the relegation-threatened Championship side record eight wins in nine games.
Two defeats and a draw followed and results earlier in the day had conspired to dump the South Yorkshire side back to the bottom of the table – football can be cruel!
...City v Barnsley...
The carrot of a trip to Wembley was the reward for the winners and for City, that meant the possibility of a fourth trip to the home of English football in less than two years – unprecedented in the Club’s history.
Wigan Athletic’s shock 3-0 win at Everton in the early kick-off plus either Millwall or Blackburn guaranteed a place in the semi-final had made City the bookies favourites to lift the trophy again, but there was the small matter of either Manchester United or Chelsea to also add to the equation!
All thoughts of possible semi opponents were put aside with Barnsley still to negate – and both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup this season had proved there is no such thing as a banker in cup football
...City v Barnsley...
City were never going to allow complacency to take over with more silverware on offer and should have been ahead after just eight minutes when Dzeko headed narrowly over from six yards – three minutes later, the Blues did take the lead.
A lofted ball into the box found Silva who toe-poked it on to the post and the ball fell invitingly for Tevez who scored for the fourth successive game with his 13th of the campaign. It also made him level top scorer with fellow strikers Dzeko and Aguero - that would soon change as he looked for sole leadership.
The Blues doubled their lead on 29 minutes and the only surprise was that it took so long in a hugely one-side match. Tevez this time was the creator as he broke down the right before putting an exquisite low cross where Kolarov finished with the panache of any forward in world football to give Luke Steele no chance.
The hapless Steele was again picking the ball out of his net less than two minutes later when City added a third and Silva again provided the assist with a clever reverse pass that Tevez collected before turning and planting the ball home.
Barnsley, warned by their manager not to be star-struck during this match, were flat and seemingly without a game-plan. There was no pressing or adrenaline-filled surges forward – it was all too easy for the hosts.
The rout continued after the break with Nasri weaving his way down the left before whipping in a cross that Tevez stroked home to complete a richly-deserved hat-trick on 50 minutes and Tevez’s cross was converted by Silva 15 minutes later to make it 5-0.
The game predictably petered out thereafter but there was still time for sub Milner to see his rocket shot come back off the inside of the post which, sadly for Barnsley, wouldn't have flattered City at all.