Carlos Tevez, arrested over a driving offence this week, scored his fifth Manchester City hat-trick and created two other goals as his side won their FA Cup quarter-final with Barnsley 5-0 on Saturday.
The controversial Argentinian forward was stopped by police on Thursday and arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified, an offence which carries a maximum six-month prison sentence.
However, injury to countryman Sergio Aguero compelled manager Roberto Mancini to select Tevez, who played the key role at the Etihad Stadium as City secured a place in next month's FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.
After a promising and energetic start from the visitors, Tevez helped City kill off the tie inside the opening half-hour, scoring two and laying on another goal for Aleksandar Kolarov.
The first, with just 10 minutes on the clock, undid what had been a confident beginning from the struggling Championship side but, not for the first time in the tie, underlined the vast difference in class between the combatants.
Yaya Toure chipped forward a tantalising pass that landed on the foot of David Silva for a first-time shot, which Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele did well to turn onto his post.
Unfortunately for the former Manchester United youth goalkeeper, the ball fell directly to Tevez, who had the simple task of converting into an empty net from point-blank range.
The second goal, after 26 minutes, was just as well worked and, again, involved Tevez.
He chased Edin Dzeko's pass down the right wing and sent over a powerfully struck cross to the far post, where the fast-arriving Kolarov converted in emphatic style.
Five minutes later, the game became a rout when Kolarov and Silva linked well for the latter to cross from the left-hand by-line for Tevez to spin and drive the hosts' third past the hapless Steele.
After losing just one of their previous 12 FA Cup ties, the 2011 winners were cruising into the last four of this season's tournament.
And given their current struggles in attempting to hold onto their league title, the trophy represents Mancini's best hope of silencing his critics.
The quarter-final, Barnsley's biggest cup tie since reaching the 2008 FA Cup semis, had turned into a damage limitation exercise for Dave Flitcroft's team.
But it took just four minutes of the second half for the damage to become worse as City claimed a fourth and Tevez his hat-trick, after Steele needlessly conceded a throw-in with an errant kick.
Samir Nasri benefitted from the error, receiving the ball and crossing from the left for Tevez, whose left-foot shot from six yards took a slight deflection off defender Martin Cranie on its way past Steele.
Finally, Barnsley forced City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon into a pair of saves, from Jacob Mellis's volley and Ryan Tunnicliffe's breakaway run and shot, although the Premier League side remained the more likely goalscorers.
Dzeko found himself clean through but elected to attempt a chip over Steele from too close range, the Barnsley keeper comfortably blocking the attempt.
But City only had to wait until the 65th minute for a fifth, when Silva played a one-two with Tevez, took the return and saw Steele block his 12-yard shot before the Spaniard pounced on the loose ball and forced it into the net.
James Milner, a substitute for Tevez after 76 minutes, was unfortunate not to score a sixth for City when his fearsome shot struck the inside of the post and flew to safety.