Another game, another goal blitz from City but unlike Sunday this came to turn things around after a lacklustre opening.
Three goals in four minutes before half time put clear water between City and a pumped-up Wolves side that were the better before taking the lead. After that the result was never in doubt, and at time City’s midweek side turned in the kind of football that the weekend version had got the world talking about at Old Trafford.
To no-one’s surprise, both managers made a raft of changes from the sides they started with last weekend. Mick McCarthy made nine alterations, undoubtedly with one eye on the visit to the Etihad Stadium this coming Saturday and a struggle to gain vital league points.
Roberto Mancini completely overhauled his starting XI from Sunday, handing a first start to Italian striker Luca Scapuzzi while pairing Nigel de Jong and Abdul Razak in midfield amongst another interesting team selection.
Maybe the criticism of their team mates from Saturday stung this Wolves side into action as they had the better of the opening spell before deservedly taking the lead. Stefan Savic had gone into the book and was fortunate not get the dreaded second for a couple of clumsy challenges, while Aleks Kolarov had got away with a handball in the area before the hosts struck on 18 minutes.
Vokes eluded a gung-ho challenge from Kolo Toure on the right to put in a cross that the rest of the defence failed to deal with before Nenad Milijas span around to thump the ball beyond a helpless Costel Pantilimon.
Jody Craddock joined Savic in the book almost straight away for a crude challenge on Dzeko, and City’s best chance so far was thwarted on 23 minutes when Elokobi denied Razak with a perfectly-timed last ditch challenge.
Scapuzzi had struggled to get into the opening half-hour but then came close to equalising. Kolarov crossed and the 20-year-old Italian brilliantly threw off the attentions of Elokobi but his shot scraped just wide of the post.
But the nerves were allayed with quickfire three-goal riposte, with Adam Johnson at the heart of it. First of all he gratefully fell on a knock-down from Edin Dzeko to fire the ball home from outside the box. Then his exquisite pass allowed Samir Nasri to race clear and shoot beyond De Vries, before his cross to the far post set up Dzeko for an easy finish after Scapuzzi had worked the keeper.
All in just under four minutes – on a par with the goal-fest that had concluded the derby!
The free-flowing football that is fast becoming City’s trademark continued after the break when they went even further ahead. Kolarov crossed to Nasri, De Vries made a half-stop before Scapuzzi showed real striker’s instincts to pounce for his first competitive City goal. The youngster also proved he could turn provider when he set up Edin Dzeko for City’s fifth, but that was slightly tarnished when Jamie O’Hara pulled one back shortly afterwards.
After that the scoreboard remained the same - the pleas of "we want six" fell on stony ground, but City were in the hat for the draw for the quarter final, with some sterner tests ahead a distinct possibility.