It took goals from Manchester City substitutes Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden to vanquish spirited Dinamo Zagreb at the Etihad.
How the mighty have fallen as this was a pale imitation of some the previous blockbuster clashes in the Ferguson-Wenger era.
Scott McTominay’s first half injury time rocket was cancelled out by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal after Harry Maguire played the Gabon striker onside.
Manchester City’s class told in the end but they were forced to battle hard for their Premier League victory at Everton where Pep Guardiola described his side’s display as “incredibly outstanding”.
New head coach Dino Maamria has quickly identified one of their key deficiencies, the lack of a proven goalscorer.