Maestro Mahrez nets hat-trick as Man City storm into FA Cup final

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Maestro Mahrez nets hat-trick as Man City storm into FA Cup final
Manchester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring the team's third goal
Manchester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring the team's third goal
AFP
Manchester City stamped their ticket to a first FA Cup final in four years, thanks to a comfortable 3-0 victory against Sheffield United, with a result that also extended the Blades’ winless Wembley run to seven matches dating back to 1925.

For Championship side Sheffield United, the key to success against Man City was likely keeping Erling Haaland quiet.

But the Blades defence was almost caught napping by the Norwegian inside the opening half-hour, when he rifled an absolute thunderbolt home from all of 25 yards, only for referee Stuart Attwell to rule it out for an infringement in the build-up.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring the opening goal with striker Erling Haaland
AFP

Considering City were 2-0 up by half-time against Championship leaders Burnley in the last round, reaching the break on level terms was set to be a small win in itself for Sheffield United.

That was until the Blades imploded on the stroke of half-time when Daniel Jebbison felled Bernardo Silva in the area and Riyad Mahrez stepped forward to fire home City’s opener.

Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck jumps above Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva
AFP

Sheffield United continued to be the masters of their own downfall shortly after the break too, when their defence parted like the red sea to allow Mahrez to saunter through and double his tally for the day.

The Algerian wasn’t finished there though, and after again being afforded the freedom of Wembley by the Sheffield United defence, he stroked home his third to become the first player to score an FA Cup semi-final hat-trick since 1958.

Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez scores the team's second goal
AFP

In truth, Sheffield United were practically beaten the moment that earlier penalty flew in, with absolutely nothing to suggest that City would get anything other than a 13th victory from 24 prior visits to the new Wembley Stadium.

Pep Guardiola shouts instructions to the players from the touchline during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester City and Sheffield United
AFP

Subsequently, City boss Pep Guardiola was able to withdraw most of his big-hitters before Wednesday’s crunch Premier League title clash against Arsenal, which could see them close the gap behind the Gunners to two points, and inch closer towards finally emulating the illustrious treble their neighbours Manchester United achieved 24 years ago.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

Catch up on the FA Cup semi-final action with Flashscore.

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