Silva returns as Man City cruise into Capital One Cup semis
Goals from Bony, Iheanacho and De Bruyne keep title favourites on track for first silverware of the season
Man City 4 Hull 1
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini welcomed key playmaker David Silva back from injury as his side eased to a comfortable victory over Hull at the Etihad to book their place in the Capital One Cup semi-finals.
The win maintains City's position as heavy favourites to win the competition thanks to early exits for Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Pellegrini's side will be joined in the semi-finals by Stoke, Everton and one of Liverpool and Southampton - who play tonight.
Wilfried Bony gave City the lead within the first ten minutes when he capitalised on a rebound after the ball had hit the post, but as The Guardian's Daniel Taylor writes, "by half-time it was perhaps surprising City, with David Silva making his first start in almost two months, had not built on that goal".
It wasn't until the last ten minutes of the game that the sky blue attacking machine really spluttered into life. Late goals from youngster Kelechi Iheanacho and a brace from Belgian sensation Kevin de Bruyne made the scoreline look as comfortable as City's dominant performance warranted - although a late consolation from Andrew Robertson meant that the Tigers could leave Manchester with something to show for the efforts.
Players returning from injury dominated the post-match discussion, as Pellegrini hailed the return of midfield maestro Silva after a lengthy absense. "It was very important for David," the Chilean said. "The most important thing was to qualify for the semi-final - but it was also important for him to have 80 minutes after a long injury.
"It was also important for Bony to play for 65 minutes after he only recovered from a muscle injury a few days before Saturday."
But Robertson's late consolation goal continued an unwanted record for City, who have now failed to keep a clean sheet in all 12 of the games that Vincent Kompany hasn't started this season. "I don't think Vincent will be ready soon," admitted Pellegrini after the game. "Maybe against Swansea [on 12 December] but not before."