Guardiola sets out his stall for Chelsea
It was never going to be a full-strength Manchester City side for this game against League One opposition, but Pep Guardiola left more first-team players than he could have done out of the squad.
Especially given those missing in defence, it was notable that Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, Fernandinho and Ederson were all given the night off, with Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo unused substitutes. In their place was reserve keeper Zack Steffen and five teenagers making their debuts in front of him.
Providing Ake returns from his compassionate leave following the death of his father last week, Chelsea would probably be wise to plan for the same City back six that played against Southampton - as well as Jack Grealish after his rest.
Stars align for it?
As well as the five debutants, Phil Foden's presence in the starting XI meant that this was the first time in the Guardiola era that more than half of the starting XI has been made up of academy graduates.
Manuel Pellegrini achieved the feat in a 2016 FA Cup game at Chelsea, although that selection was more of a protest at the lack of time they had been given before a Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev, and is hard not to see as the football equivalent of a white flag of surrender.
Before that, a 2010 Carling Cup defeat to West Brom came to mind when Roberto Mancini justified picking six youngsters in order to rest his first-team players up for a Saturday lunchtime clash with title rivals Chelsea .... and City won 1-0.
An omen for this weekend?
More first-team players
Guardiola may have plenty of injury problems in the first team but he has more options available to him now after watching five debutants impress in this game, with another one coming off the bench.
They may not be thrown in at Chelsea, PSG and Liverpool, but the manager can be more confident now of using them in more games this season after seeing how well they came through what was an awkward test - as well as a challenging situation when they fell behind.
Everything goes through Foden
On his first start of the season, Phil Foden was at his electric best.
Outshining even Kevin De Bruyne, the 21-year-old ran the show from central midfield and bagged a wonderfully skilful assist and a thunderous goal in the first half before another terrific ball put it on a plate for Ferran Torres after the break. As importantly, he looked like a player determined to make the difference.
The standard of opposition will surely improve sharply in a matter of days but it will be a relief to the manager that he is able to finally call upon a player so supremely gifted as Foden is for such huge encounters coming up.