Kevin De Bruyne declared it was good to be back after his goalscoring return for Manchester City.
The midfielder struck the opener in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final win at Leicester on his first start for seven weeks.
Holders City eventually squeezed through 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
De Bruyne has seen his season interrupted by two knee injuries but netted his first goal of the season at the King Power Stadium.
“I’ve been out so long, so to play 70 minutes is a really good sign for me personally,” he told the club’s official website.
“I feel a little bit stiff but I’m happy to contribute again.”
Arijanet Muric saved penalties from James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu, while Christian Fuchs also missed for Leicester.
Raheem Sterling’s blushes were spared thanks to City’s progress after he chipped his penalty over the crossbar but Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko won it from the spot.
“It was a tough game but that is normal – it is always difficult at Leicester,” said boss Pep Guardiola.
“We played with Kevin and Sergio (Aguero) who cannot play the full 90 minutes. We played with a guy (Eric Garcia) who is 17-years-old and Aro (Muric) who is 20.
“We made quite a good performance. Of course, we had chances to win the game before.
“It was the same last season when we won with penalties thanks to Claudio (Bravo). This year it was Aro.
“Raheem took that decision (to chip his penalty), unfortunately he missed it but that is OK.”
Marc Albrighton levelled with 17 minutes left, just his second goal of the season, to take the tie to penalties.
Leicester go to Chelsea on Saturday before welcoming Manchester City again in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
They were second best in the first half but improved after the break to give Albrighton encouragement ahead of the weekend.
“For us to put on a second-half performance like we did, we’ve got to take encouragement and confidence from that and take it to Stamford Bridge,” he told LCFC TV.
“We’ll go there and put up a good fight and get a result. We’re disappointed because we came so far and took Manchester City all the way."
“We said before, if we can get them to penalties we need to make sure we finish them off. We did half of that but didn’t do the full job.
“We were saying as we were watching the penalties that ‘this is our year, we’re not going to let last year happen again’, and unfortunately it did.”