Crystal Palace 0 Manchester City 2
Carlos Tevez opened his Manchester City goals account after the Premier League superstars were given a Carling Cup fright by Crystal Palace.
Joleon Lescott made his debut in a City side packed with £200m worth of talent, with boss Mark Hughes signalling his intent to justify the club's lavish spending with a trophy this season.
But owner Sheikh Mansour could have been forgiven for checking some of his receipts at half-time with Neil Warnock's no-nonsense Palace well on top.
City's all-star forward line of Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robinho were not relishing the experience as the Palace back four snapped and snarled at them at every opportunity.
At the other end, Lescott and Kolo Toure, wearing the captain's armband with Richard Dunne set to join Aston Villa, struggled with Palace's pacy attackers Freddie Sears and Victor Moses.
Palace, whose only summer signings have been loans and free recruits, had the scent of a major upset in their nostrils as the sides trooped off at the interval.
But whatever Hughes told his side in the dressing room paid off as Shaun Wright-Phillips finally found some space to hit the opener and Tevez struck a second to seal City's passage into the third round of the competition they last won in 1976 - their last major trophy.
The visitors created their first chance after just two minutes, with Adebayor and Robinho combining well before teeing up Tevez, who fired wide from just inside the area.
However, after that early wake-up call Palace began warming to their task and almost took the lead when Clint Hill was left unmarked to meet Darren Ambrose's free-kick, only to head straight at Shay Given.
Palace were intent on unsettling City's new-look back four and Moses' low cross had to be palmed clear by Given before Paddy McCarthy's header was kept out by the Irish goalkeeper.
The Premier League side were almost caught napping when Shaun Derry put Sears in behind, but the striker's angled drive was too close to Given.
On the half-hour midfielder Ambrose was afforded too much space by a hastily retreating defence and fizzed a 20-yard shot inches over Given's crossbar.
A slick counter from City almost paid dividends when Stephen Ireland played in Adebayor, who cut inside onto his right foot and curled in a shot which Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni blocked at full stretch.
Tevez then played a clever one-two with Ireland but Speroni was out quickly to deny his fellow Argentinian.
Given came to City's rescue again just before the break after a high ball caught Toure dozing and Sears almost nipped in.
But City finally found their goalscoring touch five minutes into the second half, and it was two of their homegrown stars who made the breakthrough.
Ireland fed the ball across the pitch to Wright-Phillips, who had escaped the attentions of Hill for once and hit a fierce drive which beat Speroni inside his near post.
Two minutes later Ireland sent Adebayor through one-on-one with Speroni, but the goalkeeper spread himself well to keep his side in the tie.
Barely 60 seconds later City carved Palace open again, Robinho slipping in Wright-Phillips who dinked the ball over Speroni but against the crossbar.
Palace had a chance to level midway through the second half when Nathanial Clyne found Moses in the area, but the youngster skied his shot.
And the tiring hosts were made to pay in the 71st minute when Tevez tip-toed in between the centre-halves and nodded Wright-Phillips' corner past Speroni.
Tevez almost doubled his tally when he danced past Hill and fired in a low shot which Speroni scrambled away.
At the other end, Given saved well from Alassane N'Diaye and Shaun Derry fired wide, but City did manage to record another clean sheet and maintained their 100% record this season.