Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City snapped its losing streak in FA Cup semi-finals with a 3-0 stroll over second-tier Sheffield United at Wembley on Saturday.
After exiting at the semi-final stage for the last three seasons, Pep Guardiola’s treble-chasing side was not about to suffer the same fate and won without requiring top gear.
Championship promotion hopefuls United began brightly and frustrated City for most of the first half but Mahrez fired City ahead from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute.
Mahrez then waltzed through some flimsy defending to make it 2-0 in the 61st minute and completed his hat-trick five minutes later with a clinical finish from Jack Grealish’s low cross.
It was the first FA Cup semi-final hat-trick since Alex Dawson for Manchester United against Fulham in 1958.
City has not conceded a goal in reaching the FA Cup final for a 12th time where it could face Manchester United in what would be the first all-Manchester clash in the showpiece.
United is up against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.
With the tie safely in the bag, Guardiola substituted Grealish and goal machine Erling Haaland with one eye on Wednesday’s looming Premier League showdown with Arsenal.
City is also in the semi-finals of the Champions League where it will face Spanish holder Real Madrid.
It proved a disappointing day for Sheffield United who last won the FA Cup almost 100 years ago, although the Yorkshire club’s priority will be sealing promotion back to the top flight after being relegated in 2021.
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