Leroy Sane's brace gave Manchester City a battling 2-1 win at West Brom in the third round of the EFL Cup, but victory came at a price as Ilkay Gundogan was hit by another possible injury blow.
Sane has been restricted to one Premier League start so far this season, the odd-man out in Pep Guardiola's gifted forward line, but he grasped his chance with aplomb at The Hawthorns.
The 21-year-old's early opener preceded a swashbuckling first-half showing from a City side performing in the same vein as the recent romps against Liverpool, Feyenoord and Watford despite Guardiola making eight changes.
West Brom imposed their will on the match after the break, with the sight of Germany midfielder Gundogan – making a first start since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last December – limping off following an ugly lunge from Claudio Yacob, noticeably unsettling City.
Yacob warmed to his role as villain by snatching an equaliser but the winner arrived against the run of play in the 77th minute, with Sane collecting Bernardo Silva's pass, cutting inside Craig Dawson and curling home past the excellent Ben Foster.
City controlled the action from kick-off, with West Brom's first touch of the ball coming when goalkeeper Foster denied Gundogan from Raheem Sterling's third-minute cross, with Sane on hand to smash home the rebound.
Gundogan was at the heart of much of City's impressive work early on and found space inside the West Brom box once more in the 18th minute, only for returning West Brom centre-back Gareth McAuley to make a vital block.
City took the resulting corner short, catching West Brom napping, and Sane chipped to the back post, where Foster palmed away Eliaquim Mangala's header.
Full-backs Fabian Delph and Danilo came infield to bolster a 26th-minute City attack and the latter picked out fellow Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, who engineered room in the box before blasting over.
Foster excelled himself in first-half stoppage time, clawing a curling effort from the rampaging Sterling away from his top corner.
Guardiola's only complaint over City's first-half efforts would have related to them not having a more commanding lead for their dominance and West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez glanced a Dawson cross wide early in the second period to underline the precariousness of their position.
DOUBLETROUBLE pic.twitter.com/Al26SdTqeg— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 20, 2017
City were enduring their most ragged period of the contest when, in the 54th minute, Gundogan broke up a West Brom attack and surged forward. His run was halted on the edge of the opposition penalty area, with Yacob booked and Gundogan unable to continue.
Foster remained on top in his personal duel with Sterling as the England winger's latest menacing dribble went unrewarded but James Morrison prodded wide at the other end, some excellent hold-up play from Hal Robson-Kanu fashioning a 69th-minute opening.
Guardiola's men did not heed that warning and Yacob, already far from popular with the travelling supporters, was allowed too much room to dispatch Kieran Gibbs' corner through Claudio Bravo's legs.
Robson-Kanu fired wide and Bravo saved from Morrison as West Brom suddenly appeared the likely victors, but Sane stepped up to brilliantly settle matters.
West Brom ensured their opponents made anxious progress towards full-time, with Salomon Rondon heading agonisingly wide from a Matt Phillips cross before Robson-Kanu clipped the outside of the post in stoppage time.
18 de marzo 2018
|Excellent Leipzig deserved Bayern win - Heynckes|
|Marquez will sleep easily after last-ditch Qatar move|
|Conte impressed by Morata´s return to scoring form|
|I lost the game myself - Simeone accepts responsibility for Atletico Madrid defeat|
|Borussia Dortmund to delay final Stoger decision - Zorc|
|Toulouse topple leaders Montpellier|
|Puel stands by Schmeichel after FA Cup blunder|
|Neymar could be back for Coupe de France final, says Silva|
|Valverde waits on Iniesta answer as Barcelona captain considers exit|
|Magnificent Osaka claims maiden title at Indian Wells|
|Villarreal 2 Atletico Madrid 1: Unal deals LaLiga title race blow for Simeone´s men|
|Leicester City 1 Chelsea 2 (aet): Pedro and Morata send Conte´s men through|
|RB Leipzig 2 Bayern Munich 1: Werner strike seals memorable triumph|
|Gattuso demands lift from out-of-favour Kalinic|
|Karthik hits final-ball six to win Nidahas Trophy|
|Messi puts us where we are right now - Alcacer hails Barcelona superstar|
|Dovizioso holds off Marquez in Qatar to draw first blood|
|Sampaoli ´right´ to pick others - Icardi understands Argentina snub|
|Barcelona 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Messi and Alcacer secure comfortable success|
|Hughes excited by Southampton quality|
|Nice prepared for ´likely´ Balotelli departure|
|Wales captain Jones set to miss summer Tests|
|Germany defender Halstenberg extends RB Leipzig contract|
|No offers for Roma´s Alisson, says Monchi|
|Constant compliments guarantee defeat, claims Inter boss Spalletti|
|Scoring 100th Serie A goal at Sampdoria was ´destiny´, says Icardi|
|Stoger happy with Gotze response after public criticism|
|AC Milan 3 Chievo 2: Silva spares Rossoneri once more|
|Silva confident Neymar´s future is at PSG|
|´Shameful´ PSG cannot buy a team, says Balotelli|
|All Black Squire suffers broken thumb|
|Everton goal hero Tosun glad Palace move fell through|
|Wigan Athletic 0 Southampton 2: Hojbjerg and Cedric give Hughes first win|
|Pistons got absolutely screwed - Van Gundy slams officiating in loss to Trail Blazers|
|Selection shake-up not down to Ashes drubbing - Strauss|
|Fiorentina rename training ground after late captain Astori|
|Usain Bolt issued Commonwealth Games warning to Yohan Blake|
|Borussia Dortmund 1 Hannover 0: Batshuayi the difference again for Stoger´s men|
|Nice 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Alves earns late victory for runaway leaders|
|Icardi 100: Inter captain´s Serie A landmark in Opta numbers|
|Sampdoria 0 Inter 5: Four-goal Icardi demolishes former side|
|Gray´s tackling ton and Italy´s woeful run - the Six Nations in Opta facts|
|Van Gaal: Heynckes can become a Bayern Munich god|
|Real Madrid without Ramos for Girona test|
|South Africa include Morris & Olivier for remainder of Australia series|
|Icardi reaches 100 Serie A goals against former club Sampdoria|
|Ireland Grand Slam heroes denied homecoming by weather|
|Cardiff trip to Derby postponed due to snow|
|Ogbonna gets Italy call as cover for doubtful Chiellini|
|Sunderland suspend Gibson after drink-driving charge|
|Manly claim record Eels thrashing, Knights win late again|
|Winning FA Cup is not important, claims Chelsea coach Conte|
|No one will be compared to me – Cristiano Ronaldo|
|LeBron James: Cavs worried about Lue health|
|F1 2018 Pre-Season Report: Red Bull|
|F1 2018 Pre-Season Report: Force India|
|Melbourne Victory 5 Central Coast Mariners 2: Berisha leads rout with hat-trick|
|Clarke breaks three vertebrae, Greipel has collarbone surgery|
|Waratahs blitz Rebels after scoring 38 unanswered points|
|Del Potro relishing Federer showdown|
|Australia to host two games against Team USA in 2019|
|Grizzlies snap 19-game losing streak, LeBron´s triple-double lifts Cavs|
|McIlroy suggests limiting alcohol sales after Bay Hill abuse|
|Marotta dismisses Allegri-PSG links as Juve focus on Can|
|MLS Review: Champions Toronto still winless, Atlanta crush Whitecaps|
|Lukaku: A lot of players will join Manchester United next season|
|I feel like I just woke up – Indian Wells finalist Federer explains slow start|
|High-flying Reds win third straight in Buenos Aires|
|Salah and Liverpool don´t fear Man City: We´ve beaten them!|
|What can I lose? - Mourinho defends criticism of Man Utd players|