Pep Guardiola made nine changes from the side that beat Tottenham 4-1 for last night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final contest against Leicester City.
Out went Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling and in came a host of youngsters, including Oluwatosin Adarabioyo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Brahim Diaz.
It says a great deal about the strength in depth of Guardiola’s squad that his reserve outfit still resembled the stylish City team that has rolled through everyone this season.
They had 60 per cent of the possession and would have won in regulation time if not for referee Bobby Madley awarding Leicester a highly contentious penalty in the sixth minute of injury time.
As it went, the Premier League leaders had to secure their passage to the semi-final via a penalty shootout.
Guardiola was pleased with how the young players he brought in fared at the King Power Stadium.
"A lot of young players played, two guys played their first official games for Man City so it's good,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’m so happy that the old players helped the young ones and to reach the semi-final with the way we did it."
Phil Foden was handed his first domestic start
Among those to step up from the youth ranks was 17-year-old Phil Foden, who Man City fans have seen plenty of this season.
The midfielder was making his fourth appearance of the campaign but this was his first domestic start for the club.
And he showed just why people are paying attention to him with a neat display.
The future is certainly bright for Foden, who won the Under-17 World Cup in October, but fans believe he needs to learn to cope with the physicality of English football before he’s ready to break through into the first team on a permanent basis.
There were times when Foden was brushed off the ball with relative ease. And this match wasn't played at the usual intensity of a Premier League encounter.
Check out what football fans said of his performance on Twitter.
Watch Foden's highlights v Leicester
Of course, Foden remains a teenager who is still developing physically.
And Guardiola has done a fine job of turning diminutive players into superstars. See Lionel Messi.
But who knows, perhaps Foden could do with a similar transformation to the one undergone by Marcus Rashford, who clearly spent much of his summer in the gym before returning to Manchester United.
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