Manchester City keeps their treble dreams alive as they thrash Sheffield United in the semifinal of the FA Cup to book a berth for themselves in the final.
The game was a very one-sided encounter where City thrashed three goals, and Sheffield United had no reply in store. Such was one domination of England’s defending champions that they dominated 79% of the possession.
But the game belonged to only one player and his name is Riyadh Mahrez. The Algerian smashed a hattrick for his team to put them in a winning position from where there was no way back for Sheffield United.
Riyadh Mahrez scores hattrick
He popped the first goal in from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute. Everyone was surprised to see Mahrez step up to take the kick when Erling Haaland was present in the team.
The commentators even reminded the viewers about the torrid record Mahrez had had in this season. Before this kick, he had failed to convert on the previous three occasions. However, this time he proved everyone wrong by seconding the keeper the wrong way.
And on the brink of halftime, Manchester City was leading in the game.
In the second half, Mahrez had his tail up as he netted two more goals to shut the shop on his opponents. The first one came in the 61st minute when a mistake in the midfield cost Sheffield United the position. It was Mahrez who had made a crucial interception to win the ball and made a solo run to the box of United.
There he buried the ball in the right corner far away from the reach of the keeper to make the score line 2-0. 7 minutes later, he was once again on the foray lurking in the box, searching to get at the end of one of the crosses when Jack Grealish picked his run.
The goal was not easy, Mahrez had to balance himself before taking a perfect first-time shot. But the man had a golden touch as he managed to beat the keeper again. Although the keeper got a good touch on the ball, the shot had too much power to be kept out. As a result, Manchester City was leading 3-0.
Manchester City vs Sheffield United in Stats
City dominated every nook and corner of the game against United. They had more shots (14) on goal in comparison to United (4). Also, they found the target 4 times, out of which 3 were goals, while there was one strike by Sheffield that was on target.
The domination of Manchester City players can be understood by the volume of passes completed by them. City was able to complete a total of 745 passes in the game with an accuracy of 91% while Sheffield had 205 passes with 64% accuracy.
All in all, it was a walk in the park for City as they reached the final. Now it will be interesting to see who emerges victorious in the second semifinal to be played on Sunday.
Manchester United will take on Brighton Hove Albion, and if they win, we can have a Manchester Derby in the final of FA Cup 2022-23.