With five debutants and 10 changes, you’d be forgiven for thinking the early passages of play would be somewhat tentative and disjointed – yet it was anything but.
Wycombe, led in attack by the irrepressible Adebayo Akinfenwe, gave as good as they got in the opening 20 minutes or so, going close a couple of times, while City’s best effort was a Ferran Torres header straight at the keeper.
But first blood went to the Chairboys after the failure to clear a corner was eventually punished when Brandon Hanlan tapped into an empty net after Ryan Tafazolli picked up a wayward shot on the corner of the six-yard box and sent a low pass that cut out Zack Steffen.
So, with 22 minutes gone, the League One side – who head beaten City in the last two meetings back in 1998/98, led the Premier League champions 1-0.
But it would only last six minutes, with a magical slalom run by Phil Foden slicing the Wycombe defence apart as he found De Bruyne on the left and the Belgian passed a low shot just inside the right post to level the scores.
Riyad Mahrez did the same on 42 minutes as the woodwork again came to the Chairboys’ rescue, but it was brief respite as Josh Wilson-Esbrand marked his debut with an excellent assist, tormenting Jason McCarthy before teeing up Mahrez to sweep home from 10 yards.
And there was still time for Phil Foden to make it 3-1 with a thunderous left-foot angled drive from 25 yards that keeper David Stockdale did well to get a hand on as it flew into the roof of the net.
Wycombe regrouped after the break and stemmed the tide somewhat and there was a warm ovation for Akinfenwa when he made way for Sam Vokes midway through the second period.