The stuttering early-season form recedes from the memory. Manchester City cantered to a routine win crowned by a second-half goal burst that confirmed a result which had never seemed in doubt.
The victory made it three in succession for City, who followed the 3-0 victory at Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League and the emphatic win in the 166th Manchester derby by progressing to the next round of the Capital One Cup, a competition even the second-string that started would have a realistic chance of winning.
Manuel Pellegrini stood down 10 of the side that routed Manchester United 4-1, with Fernandinho the sole survivor. This meant the Chilean could place the big guns of Matija Nastasic, Navas, Samir Nasri, Alvaro Negredo, Aleksandar Kolarov and Yaya Touré, particularly imperious against United, on the bench in case of calamity.
From City's dire 1-0 FA Cup final defeat to Wigan that left only Gaël Clichy who started on that May day, with Emmerson Boyce, Jordi Gómez and Roger Espinoza remaining from the side that shocked Sheikh Mansour's millionaires in taking the trophy.
Before kick-off Pellegrini spoke of how he wanted the brand of fast, pressing football that dismantled United to be City's calling card, whatever the opposition or competition.
By the close he had witnessed just that as City took their tally to 12 goals in those last three outings.
"I spoke with the players before we start, telling them we must always try to play the same way," the manager said. "We can change names but for me it was very important to see the same team we saw last Sunday, the same philosophy of football and the same high performance."
Of Yaya Touré, whose zinger of a free-kick took him to five goals in six games, Pellegrini said: "He is a player who can always improve more and Yaya is trying to do it."
The Ivorian's dead-ball effort followed similar finishes against United and Newcastle. Has he been practising them? " We are always practising. Yaya stays normally, kicking the ball after we finish the daily work. He is really in a good moment also. It is not normal, someone always scoring free-kicks."
Micah Richards, making a first appearance of the season after a hamstring injury, had opened up proceedings by drawing a save from Lee Nicholls, the visiting goalkeeper, with a header.
As should be expected from a side still worth more than £150m,City dominated throughout, with Marcos Lopes, a 17-year-old, enjoying an impressive full debut. The Portuguese forward was unfortunate to hit a post from a James Milner cross and as the sides wandered off at the interval, with Edin Dzeko's goal separating them, Owen Coyle's players could reflect on a Gómez free-kick he skied from 25 yards, and little else.
To a loud cheer from the home fans – and Wigan's dismay, no doubt – Touré entered for the second half at the expense of Fernandinho.
The prevailing sense, as on Sunday against the champions, was that City were toying with their visitors, able to increase the score still further at any chosen moment. When they finally did, with Stevan Jovetic's first for the club, it derived from a slick sequence begun by Dedryck Boyata inside his half that took in James Milner and Dzeko before ending with Richards's slide-rule pass across the area being converted expertly by the Montenegrin.
Lopes's evening ended with 20 minutes remaining and Jesús Navas entered to claim his first goal for the club, preceded by Jovetic's close-range finish. While this all made it a wholly satisfactory evening for Pellegrini, City are at Aston Villa on Saturday when Paul Lambert's side should beware, though David Silva's thigh injury may keep him out until next week's visit of Bayern Munich for the second Champions League group game.
"Maybe for next Saturday I don't think he can play. But maybe for the next game of Champions League, he could be fit," Pellegrini said.
At the moment, the Spaniard is hardly missed.