Manchester City reach FA Cup final on Mahrez hat trick

Sports Desk, Apr 22 (EFE).- Riyad Mahrez accounted for all of the scoring Saturday as Manchester City beat Sheffield United 3-0 to book their spot in the FA Cup final.

The Algerian is the first player since 1958 with a hat trick in an FA Cup semifinal, while City become the first team in 57 years to make it to the title game without conceding a goal.

Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion will do battle Sunday to decide which of them face City in the June 3 final at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Besides the FA Cup, Pep Guardiola’s team remain in contention for two other trophies.

In the Premier League, they trail Arsenal by just 5 points heading into next Wednesday’s match in Manchester, and they dispatched Bayern Munich earlier this week to set up a Champions League semifinal clash with Real Madrid.

Second-division Sheffield were not expected to pose much of a test for the reigning Premier League champions, yet they nearly shocked City and the 69,000-plus in the stands at Wembley in the 2nd minute.

After winning what would turn out to be their only corner of the match, United got the ball to Iliman Ndiaye inside the box, but he sent his shot into the arms of City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

From that point on, it was all City, yet the score was still 0-0 in the 41st minute when United’s Daniel Jebbison fouled Bernardo Silva and the referee pointed to the spot.

Though Erling Haaland is City’s usual penalty-taker, Mahrez claimed the kick and converted to put his team ahead 1-0.

The 2-0 came just after the hour mark. Mahrez robbed the ball from United’s Anel Ahmedhodzic and blew past John Egan and Jack Robinson before slotting the ball past keeper Wes Foderingham.

Mahrez completed the hat trick and settled the contest five minutes later, assisted by Jack Grealish.



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