Mahrez treble fires Manchester City into Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley

Saturday 22 Apr 2023
Mahrez's first-half penalty got the ball rolling for City as they ended Sheffield United's hopes of reaching a first Emirates FA Cup final since 1936

Riyad Mahrez’s hat-trick sunk Sheffield United and sent Manchester City into the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley.

The Algerian winger proved too hot for the Championship high-flyers to handle as he halted their cup adventure and kept Pep Guardiola’s hopes of a memorable Treble alive.

Paul Heckingbottom’s Blades delivered a valiant defensive display throughout the opening period but were undone by Mahrez’s ice-cool penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Emirates FA Cup
  • Semi-final
  • Manchester City v Sheffield United
  • Saturday 22 April
And Guardiola’s Premier League heavyweights hit the accelerator after the break as Mahrez’s fine two finishes fired City back to Wembley – against either Manchester United or Brighton & Hove Albion – in June and ended the promotion-chasing Blades’ brilliant run to the last four in the capital.


Erling Haaland, who hit a sixth hat-trick of the season in the 6-0 win over Burnley in the previous round, led the line for City as boss Guardiola made six changes to the side that secured a spot in the Champions League semi-finals against Bayern Munich in midweek.

And for United, Oliver Norwood came into the midfield as Manchester City loanees James McAtee and Tommy Doyle – who scored a stunning late winner against Blackburn Rovers to propel the Blades to Wembley – missed out owing to being unable to face their parent club in the competition.

The atmosphere under the arch was electric and it was the Blades who came closest to opening the scoring after just two minutes.

Norwood’s corner fell to Iliman Ndiaye at the back post but his low shot was well saved by Stefan Ortega Moreno, who was starting over first-choice goalkeeper Ederson in the City net.

Guardiola’s side grew gradually into the game and did have the ball in the net through Haaland – but his long-range thunderbolt was ruled out by referee Stuart Attwell after a foul on the edge of the box.

Mahrez curled wide from 20 yards before Sheffield United goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, returning to the side after serving a recent suspension for a red card against Burnley, acrobatically denied Julian Alvarez’s similarly long-range attempt.

City continued to boss possession but Heckingbottom’s underdogs did look dangerous on the break through livewire Ndiaye and young striker Daniel Jebbison, who netted against Millwall in the third round to kickstart the Blades’ Emirates FA Cup odyssey.

But it was the six-time competition winners who seized the lead when Mahrez slotted home from 12 yards just before the break.

Jebbison fouled Bernado Silva in the area and after Attwell pointed to the spot, the former Leicester wide man sent Foderingham the wrong way with ease.

City came flying out of the blocks after the interval and came close to grabbing a second when Haaland was unable to steer home at the far post.

But they did not have to wait long to double their advantage when Mahrez stormed through the United defence to net again on the hour mark.

The City winger robbed Max Lowe on the halfway line before embarking on a searing solo run that ended with another composed low finish past Foderingham.

And Mahrez completed his hat-trick just moments later when he expertly hooked home Jack Grealish’s cross to wrap up the contest and trigger more raucous scenes from the blue end of Wembley behind the goal.

Sheffield United delivered a late burst of enterprise and energy but were unable to get on the scoresheet as City strolled through and continued their pursuit of an Emirates FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League Treble.

By Will Jennings