This was a Carlos Tevez story written for the sport pages rather than news as he followed Thursday's arrest with a hat-trick and the creation of Manchester City's two other strikes to lead them to a second FA Cup semi-final in three seasons. That game will be played at Wembley, where they could meet Manchester United if their rivals beat Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

The draw follows and, who knows, if Sir Alex Ferguson's men prevail and they are kept apart from the champions, there could yet be an inaugural City-United final, a prospect to light up this football-mad town.

Before any of that, though, City can reflect on a job well done. And hope Chelsea can turn over United to knock them out of a second competition in a week and create a wobble that might affect their league form.

This tie threatened to be over as early as the 11th minute. That was when Tevez gave City the lead to capitalise on his side's opening domination and thoughts turned to whether it would become a Blue deluge from the 2011 Cup winners.

Yaya Touré turned a foot into a niblick which dinked the ball up and into David Silva's path. The Spaniard's stabbed finish was pushed on to the right post by the Barnsley goalkeeper, Luke Steele, and when the ball rebounded to Tevez he placed it into the empty net.

A man who signalled a goalscoring return following last season's absence due to his dispute with Roberto Mancini with a golf swing action (to satirise how he had spent a three-month sojourn in Argentina) decided against any kind of silly celebration this time. Instead, he offered a palms-down gesture as if to suggest everyone should keep calm.

This was all due to his arrest for allegedly driving while disqualified near Macclesfield, for which he may face a prison sentence.

If this caused the club embarrassment, Mancini had no doubt Tevez should be chosen in an XI that showed six changes from the side that won at Aston Villa on Monday, with Samir Nasri's name the headline inclusion for the first time since the 3-1 defeat at Southampton a month ago.

Tevez's opener did, indeed, signal that this would be a long evening for Barnsley and the teams walked off at the break with City 3-0 ahead and coasting. Their superior technical ability allowed them to knife through the visitors at will and this was allied with a determination to close down in midfield to win the ball.

Aleksandar Kolarov's strike derived initially from David Perkins turning into traffic and having possession taken from him by Edin Dzeko, whose right-foot pass allowed the excellent Tevez to race into space along the right.

With a look up he spied the gallop of Kolarov to the far post and with a precisely delivered ball found the left-back, who drove home emphatically.

Tevez's second and his side's third will have disappointed David Flitcroft, the Barnsley manager. Lax defending meant Kolarov was allowed to find Silva and he, too, easily passed the ball to the forward, who made no mistake.

Tevez began like a train this season and he is now ending it the same. His hat-trick finish came under five minutes into the second half. Nasri meandered down the left towards Steele's goal and passed into Tevez's left boot and this completed business.

It was a sixth strike in the last four games for the Argentinian, whose first four matches of the campaign yielded the same number of goals, with his total now 15 in 35 appearances, close to the one-in-two ratio that marks out the very best finishers.

Dzeko, who has 13 in 35 City appearances, should have added another as the hour mark neared. Yaya Touré's pass from inside his half was brought down cutely by the Bosnian but his lob over Steele came out undercooked.

Ryan Tunnicliffe now had Barnsley's best chance and a personal opportunity for the on-loan Manchester United midfielder to score at the home of the enemy. The 20-year-old's surge from near the centre circle impressed, as did the attempted shot on the run but Costel Pantilimon stuck out a leg and Tunnicliffe was left holding his head in despair.

Tevez, inevitably by now, created City's fifth: his run down the right was followed by a cross that Silva turned home.

Earlier in the day, results elsewhere sent Barnsley to the bottom of the Championship before the teams started. This result hardly lift their mood. Flitcroft said: "I've got a dressing room of players who are all in agreement we've come up against world stars."