Mahrez treble fires Manchester City into FA Cup final2 min read
Riyad Mahrez scored the first FA Cup semi-final hat-trick since 1958 to fire Manchester City through to the final at the expense of Sheffield United.
The Blades defended admirably in the first half but were undone by a penalty from Mahrez shortly before the break, after which the Algerian bagged two more in a much-improved City performance.
It could have all started so differently, however, as the first chance fell to the Blades 90 seconds in. Iliman Ndiaye found a yard of space close to City’s goal, but his off-balance effort was right at the grateful Stefan Ortega.
City themselves had to wait a comparative eternity for their first chance. Erling Haaland drilled into the bottom corner from range 15 minutes in but the whistle had been blown before he struck the ball for a foul.
Mahrez’s curling effort later drifted wide of the post, before United stopper Wes Foderingham had to tip a strike from Julian Alvarez past the frame of the goal, adding to City’s growing frustration.
With five minutes to go in the first half, City got the break they needed as Daniel Jebbison tripped Bernardo Silva in the box, and Mahrez made no mistake from 12 yards as he bent his effort into the bottom corner.
The extra freedom made a major difference after the break as City began to exert their dominance, and Mahrez slotted home an excellent solo effort on the hour mark to give some extra breathing room.
Five minutes later and Mahrez was celebrating his hat-trick. Jack Grealish’s cut-back found the Algerian and his first-time effort drifted perfectly into the bottom corner.
With the game all but done, a wave of substitutions saw the tempo of the game drop off, allowing City to cruise to victory.