Despite playing a team from a lower division, Roberto Mancini had no plans of letting his best chance at a trophy slip away and fielded a competitive side that included several of the team's stars.
None made more of an impact than Carlos Tevez, who scored a hat-trick and had two assists after coming into the match with controversy hanging over his head. The Argentine star faces jail time after being arrested for driving without a license, as The Guardian's Daniel Taylor and Jamie Jackson reported.
City showed true class in this performance, maintaining an impressive amount of possession in front of Barnsley's goal and forcing the visitors to constantly chase the ball. The pace and accuracy of the Citizens' passing was superb and led to several golden opportunities for Tevez.
The Argentine completed his hat-trick just five minutes into the second half, with Aleksandar Kolarov and David Silva scoring the other two goals. Barnsley had a few decent chances in the final 40 minutes, but this was ultimately a dominant performance from Manchester City.
Carlos Tevez, Manchester City: A+
The beauty of Tevez's hat-trick is how little work he had to do in order to get his three goals. City's performance was about spacing and possession, and Tevez provided the clearest example of how organized the team was.
City moved the ball from one side of the pitch to other with quick passes while players off the ball made intelligent runs. Tevez was in the right place to knock the ball into the net three times, showing that he knew exactly where he wanted to be throughout this match.
Chris Dagnall, Barnsley: C-
Dagnall was the man Barnsley was counting on the grab a goal in this game, but he was not a factor in this match.
With Barnsley facing a massive talent deficit, Dagnall knew he would have to deliver a fantastic individual performance as the rest of his teammates would need to focus primarily on defensive duties. He had a tough task today and did not deliver, which caused him to be taken off after just 50 minutes.
Yaya Toure, Manchester City: A
The key to City's smooth passing in this match was the big man in the middle. There is no other central midfielder in the England who can impact a game in so many different ways.
He is a remarkably intelligent and creative distributor, a brilliant finisher and has the pace to make piercing runs forward. But it was his ability to maintain City's shape and put players into dangerous positions that stood out in this fixture.
Ryan Tunnicliffe, Barnsley: C+
Tunnicliffe had added motivation to orchestrate an upset as he is on loan from Manchester United. But the Barnsley midfield was overrun in this match, and the youngster was lost for most of the contest.
He had a few promising moments after City had already taken a commanding lead, but ultimately, he and the rest of the Barnsley squad had a day to forget.
David Silva, Manchester City: A
It is easy for teams to play down to their competition in a match like this, but Silva followed Tevez and Toure's lead in maintaining possession, moving the ball around the pitch and playing clever balls forward.
He deservedly got his name on the scoresheet just before he was given the rest of the night off.
Manchester City is through to the semifinals of the FA Cup and Barnsley's run in the tournament is now over.
City will return to Premier League action next weekend against Everton while Barnsley will head back to the Championship to play Brighton on Tuesday.