Edin Dzeko staked a claim for a regular place in Manchester City's strikeforce in the absence of injured Sergio Aguero by scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Leicester in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.
In the night's other last-eight match, Sunderland stunned Chelsea 2-1 to make it to the last four. Like Chelsea, City rested key players but still had enough to see off the second-tier opponents, with Dzeko's brace adding to the opener scored by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Dzeko has been given limited playing time in recent weeks because of the brilliant form of fellow strikers Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo. With Aguero sidelined for at least a month with a calf injury, Dzeko is set to see more action over the busy Christmas period.
In making it to the semifinals for the third time in five years, City took their goal tally for the season to 75 from 25 games.
"It is an important competition," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "It is important to win every game you play in and to get to the final at Wembley would be wonderful for the supporters."
The only negative of the evening for City was the sight of right back Pablo Zabaleta hobbling off in the first half, clutching his right hamstring. City's other right back, Micah Richards, is already out injured.
City haven't reached the League Cup final since winning the competition in 1976. They lost the FA Cup final to Wigan last season. On Wednesday, it's: Tottenham vs. West Ham; and Stoke vs. Manchester United.