(Football news) Riyad Mahrez scored a fantastic hat-trick as Manchester City defeated Sheffield United 3-0 at the Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup semi-final. Pep Guardiola’s side remain on course to match Manchester United’s historic treble achievement as they remain in the Champions League, Premier League and the FA Cup. City have been eliminated in the semi-final of the FA Cup since the last three years but managed to convincingly defeat their Championship opponents, who are likely to get promoted to the Premier League next season.
In team news, Manchester City made six changes from their win against Bayern Munich with Stefan Ortega replacing Ederson in goal and Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Gomez coming into the defence. Julian Alvarez started up front with Kevin De Bruyne moving to the bench, along with Ruben Dias, John Stones and Rodri. Nathan Ake was injured. As for Sheffield United, they made three changes with Wes Foderingham returning from suspension and Daniel Jebbison starting up front. Oliver Norwood replaced Tommy Doyle in midfield as he was ineligible to play against his parent club.
Speaking after the match, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said “It’s the fourth time in a row we’re here, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool we could not do it. We did really well. I’m really satisfied for the club, after many years, to be in the FA Cup final. Mahrez is an exceptional player, a big-stage player, he has the mentality to score goals. His composure for the penalty was important. He loves to play football and he’s given many things in these years and hopefully more in the future.
“They had a clear chance in the first minute. Every set-piece was dangerous. In the first half we didn’t win one second ball. But we moved them well. We lacked a little bit to find Julian and Erling. But in general it was a really good performance, knowing from three days ago where we were. In the locker room we saw the vibe the guys were here.”
Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom said “There’s a lot of frustration there. I can’t get away from how we gave City the first two goals. But if we get the points we want on Wednesday and get where we want to be, that’s the benchmark. We didn’t score when we had the first two moments of the game, which is critical against the best.
“We knew there were moments where we had to suffer. But to concede a penalty when we did was poor on our part. There’s contact and it’s never going to be overturned. He’ll learn from it, he’s down. But games come thick and fast and in three days’ time we’re back to the day job and have to be ready to go.”