By Razeen Gutta
It was a Riyad Mahrez masterclass at Wembley as Manchester City beat Sheffield United 3-0 to progress to the 2023 FA Cup final.
The Wembley Stadium attendance may have been lower than usual, but the Championship side sure was ready to give the Premier League champions a run for their money early on.
Sheffield looked resilient from the onset, parking players behind the City front line and frustrating Pep Guardiola’s side.
A late first-half penalty would kickstart the City momentum, though, and on his first appearance at the iconic stadium, Erling Haaland gave the penalty spotlight to his teammate Mahrez.
The Algerian missed two of his four previous spot kicks, but would not be put off this time, sending the Cityzens into the break a goal to the good.
Guardiola’s men had won 50 of their last 54 games in all competitions when leading at halftime, and the statistic of them never beating Sheffield in the FA Cup was surely about to be altered.
Two more goals in five minutes after the hour mark for Mahrez would ensure he took home the match ball.
His hattrick was the first in an FA Cup semi-final since 1958 and his treble of goals ensures that City is still in the hunt for a treble of trophies this season.
Whether the cup final will be a Manchester derby or whether Brighton and Hove Albion will continue their great season with a win over United will be uncovered when Wembley hosts the second semi-final on Sunday.
Pictured above: Riyad Mahrez
Image source: @ManCity