Although I'm sure he didn't necessarily want to use them (and their involvement was questioned) the value to Manuel Pellegrini of David Silva and Samir Nasri was evident today.
An insipid first half saw City staring at an early exit in the FA Cup. How often have they struggled against lower league sides in the past couple of season? Was it over-confidence? Lack of focus? The weight of games? Changes disjointed the line up? Perhaps a little bit of everything but it all contributed to one of the flattest first halves we have seen this season.
On the hour mark with City still trailing Pellegrini called upon his midfielders, making a tactical shift in the process and it all paid dividends. Finally. City's dominance in terms of territory was finally turned into goals with the introduction of Pellegrini's substitutes having a big impact.
Tomorrow's headlines will show how City were rescued but there was a shift in the game even before the introduction of Silva and Nasri. Slowly, but surely City's dominance was evident in the second half but it took a switch to push James Milner further forward to turn the game around.
There were moments of threat from Wednesday though and special mention must be given to Jesus Navas who seemingly ran the length of the field to make a last ditch tackle in his own penalty area. Navas has been a target at times for City fans but this season he has really shown a defensive consistency to his game to go with his offensive output.
Despite City's dominance after that it had all but looked like an unwanted (although I'm sure given City's position it would have been something they would snatched at one point) replay was what they would have to settle for but at the very death Milner struck again to send City through to round four.