James Milner was only on the pitch for 13 minutes at the DW Stadium but his contribution could hardly have been more telling.
His 25-yard wonder goal capped a three minute double salvo for City as the champions shifted gears to see off the challenge of their plucky hosts.
Milner was only introduced as a substitute in the 58th minute after Javi Garcia was withdrawn but a cruel recurrence of his hamstring injury ended his evening just after he’d scored the second crucial goal.
“After the first 45 minutes I knew we had another 45 minutes and I had players on the bench who I knew could change the game,” a happy Roberto Mancini said.
“James was in good form, he was important for us tonight and against Chelsea he played very well – he’s very unlucky [to be injured].”
Mancini also paid tribute to the opposition that made City’s task so tough until Mario Balotelli got the scoring under way mid-way through the first-half.
“I’m happy. In the first half we didn’t play very well. Wigan played well, they played good football, but we knew this before the game."
“They played with three defenders and two in the channels and I wanted to put players in the same position as them.
“When we changed I think we were lucky because we got the first goal and after the first goal, the match changed.”