On a night when six teenagers made their first team debut for City, there was plenty to entertain the Etihad crowd with Wycombe more than playing their part.
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.
City's continued threat was, however, rewarded on 71 minutes as the outstanding Foden squared to Ferran Torres to finish coolly from 10 yards or so.
HOW DID THE YOUNG GUNS GET ON?
The Academy graduate quintet had a lively Wycombe attack to deal with, not to mention the physical power of Akinfenwa to handle.
Mbete looks incredibly calm and assured for someone who has just turned 18, while Wilson-Esbrand was accomplished and tidy down the left flank.
Romeo Lavia protected the back four well, while Fin Burns handled his bruising encounter with Akinfenwe well and kept his composure.
Egan-Riley, like his EDS team-mates, never looked out of place and though James McAtee only had 20 minutes or so to impress, it's a night he won't forget in a hurry.
Fantastic to see Foden back to his very best. A stunning goal and two assists from our No.47.
WHAT IT MEANS…
City are into the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.
The draw will take place on Sky Sports after tomorrow evening’s live match.
City travel to joint Premier League leaders Chelsea on Saturday at the start of a huge eight days.
The kick-off is 12.30pm at Stamford Bridge and City will follow that with trips to Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool on Tuesday and Sunday respectively.
Subs: Carson, Dias, Jesus, Bernardo, Cancelo
Wycombe: Stockdale, Jacobson, Gape (Scowen 75), Stewart, Tafazolli, Wheeler. Kaikai (Horgan 68), Hanlan, Akinfenwa (Vokes 65), Obita, McCarthy
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