Carlos Tevez was determined to prove a point to Gary Neville, according to his Manchester City team-mate and fellow Argentinian Pablo Zabaleta.
Long-serving Manchester United defender Neville had suggested manager Sir Alex Ferguson was right to move the striker on in the summer.
Tevez took exception to the remarks and responded with both goals in the 2-1 Carling Cup semi-final first leg victory at Eastlands.
After he had drilled home the penalty that pulled his side level Tevez spotted Neville warming up on the touchline.
He indicated the full-back should keep his mouth shut.
The response was one fingered, which just drew more 'shut it' taunts from Tevez, who has now scored 17 goals this season.
The gesture could also land Neville in hot water with the FA.
Zabaleta said: "One Manchester United player talked about Carlos before the game so he showed he is top class, a top player.
"He is amazing, everyone knows Carlos is a great player. Everyone loves him. This was a special game for him, one he has been dreaming about.
"I am aware of his qualities and think he can give a repeat performance against United next week."
Zabaleta wants more of the same from the team as a whole next Wednesday to realise their dream of a Wembley appearance.
Roberto Mancini's side had to dig in after going a goal behind with the evergreen Ryan Giggs opening the scoring from close range.
Tevez turned the game on its head - his second came after good work from Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany.
But City had to withstand a late onslaught with goalkeeper Shay Given making a string of superb saves from Wayne Rooney to maintain their slight advantage.
Zabaleta said: "Our reaction was fantastic after we lost the goal. It was a good performance from the team, we played well and showed strong mentality.
"It is a great result for us and an important one for the next leg. It was unbelievable near the end. United kept coming and had many chances but we never stopped working.
"We want to please our supporters and get to the final. There was a lot of satisfaction after the game but we have to show this commitment again next week. You can see we have great players and a strong character."Reuse content