There was one player orchestrating things at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, and it wasn't Edin Dzeko or Yaya Toure, the two goalscorers.
The magician who tormented Manchester United on their own turf was David Silva.
Once again the diminutive Spaniard was at the heart of all of Manchester City's penetrating attacking play, full of deft touches, quick thinking and wonderful movement.
He was involved early on, carrying the ball into the United box, before laying it off for Samir Nasri to smash his shot against the post and Dzeko to hammer in the rebound.
Silva had two other chances of his own to score in those first manic 15 minutes, and Fellaini early on recognised the danger enough to aim a petulant kick at the man running rings around him.
But still Silva's all round game never dropped, and United legend Gary Neville, commentating on the match for Sky Sports, was keenly aware at just how much his former side were struggling to get to grips with the Spanish international, while bemoaning United's own attacking threat.
"United have three men in midfield and none of them can get near Silva," Neville observed.
"There's nowhere near enough pace in this side, nobody wants to play the risk pass."
United's midfield three, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and summer signing Marouane Fellaini, seemed to be specifically picked to combat the ominous City trio of Silva, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, but as Neville observed, they failed to do their job as early as the first minute as City raced out of the blocks.
The other problem United had with such a negative midfield was that no one was pushing forward to give the City midfield problems of their own. As the game wore on, Wayne Rooney was even dropping into midfield to get involved and to help out his teammates.
Which begs the question, if Juan Mata is worth £37 million, just how much is Silva worth?