Manchester City romped to their biggest win under Kevin Keegan after scoring five goals in the first half.
Joey Barton smashed home from 20 yards and Shaun Wright-Phillips set up Jon Macken and Willo Flood before delightfully chipping in himself.
Macken pounced on a poor pass back to tap in the fifth before Barry Conlon pulled one back after Barton's error.
Antoine Sibierski quickly restored the five-goal margin and sealed the rout after another Wright-Phillips pass.
Man City: Waterreus, Thatcher (Jordan 48), Distin (Sommeil 45),
Mills, Jihai, Flood, Barton, Bosvelt, Sibierski,
Shaun Wright-Phillips, Macken (Bradley Wright-Phillips 46).
Subs Not Used: Stuhr-Ellegaard, Croft.
Goals: Barton 21, Macken 28, Flood 33,
Shaun Wright-Phillips 36, Macken 44, Sibierski 56, 84.
Barnsley: Colgan, Hassell, Tom Williams, Kay,
Robbie Williams (Boulding 31), Shuker (Nardiello 66), Wroe,
McPhail, Burns, Conlon, Chopra.
Subs Not Used: Scarsella, Stallard, Tonge.
Goals: Conlon 47.
Ref: P Robinson (E Yorkshire).