DAVID SILVA announced in the close season that this will be his last season at Manchester City.
Yet here was the man the fans affectionately call 'Merlin' reminding everyone why his magic touch will be so badly missed at the Etihad.
The former Spain international will mark his tenth anniversary next summer by finally checking out of City.
Vincent Kompany's departure means Silva is now the longest serving member of the current squad – with Sergio Aguero not far behind.
His namesake Bernardo said this week: "He's probably one of the best midfielders ever and every year he shows you how good he is.
"Over the last years, we lost Yaya Toure and now Vinny and next year we lose David. But the team continues and we try to do our best."
Here he showed that he still has so much to offer with a technically superb equaliser just after the half hour.
He popped up at the back post to control a cross from Adrian Bernabe on his chest then firing a low angled shot past new Hammers keeper Roberto.
Even Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini – who had Silva for three years at City – nodded in appreciation at such quality.
The hope at City is that young England starlet Phil Foden can one day fill the huge gap left by Silva when he does go.
Yet what an opportunity it has been for the teen ace – who does not join up with his team-mates until next week – to learn from the 33-year-old master in recent years.
And young Tommy Doyle – the grandson of TWO City legends in Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe – might have been taking notes too judging by his performance here.
There were some great touches from the youngster and City will hope Silva's legacy lives on for years after his departure.
New signing Angelino gave away a penalty after some dazzling wing play from Felipe Anderson – and Mark Noble stuck away the spot-kick.
But then came then superb equaliser from Silva and two minutes later they were ahead as Lukas Nmecha won and converted the pen.
A host of changes were made at the break and two of them – Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling – linked up for City's third.
Then Sane and De Bruyne linked up to provide the England forward with another with 20 minutes from time.
To think they only arrived in China 24 hours earlier – ti did not take long for them to start flying.
So City face Wolves in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy on Saturday looking to add another trophy to their ever-growing collection.
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