Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini was delighted to have David Silva back in the starting line-up in Tuesday's 4-1 Capital One Cup win over Hull City.
The Spain international has been sidelined since October with an ankle injury, but was handed the captain's armband on his return in midweek.
Silva put on an impressive display as goals from Wilfried Bony, Kelechi Iheanacho and a Kevin De Bruyne double sealed the win for City.
Talking after the game, Pellegrini said: "It's very important [to have him back] because it's not easy to replace David, he gives a style of play that we like to play.
"Of course the team played better with him. It was a very good game, because we didn't concede any chances in the whole game, they scored when it was already 4-0.
"The second goal came a bit late but it's great to be in the semi-final.
"I'm very happy for De Bruyne also, for Kelechi, for Bony after a long injury. Everything was very good except for a fifth yellow card for [Eliaquim] Mangala [who now faces a one-game suspension]."