The Citizens headed into this game at Wembley with supreme confidence, having just dismantled European superpowers Bayern Munich – and the fans would expect nothing less than a battering of Sheffield United. Silva, Grealish, Mahrez, and of course goal machine Haaland retained their spots in the starting lineup, despite their upcoming potential title-deciding match against Arsenal. An absolute miracle would be needed for Sheffield United, and should they advance to the final, it could quite possibly be one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history.
MCI: Ortega, Walker, Akanji, Laporte, Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, Gómez, Álvarez, Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish
SHU: Foderingham, Ahmedhodzic, Egan, Robinson, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Lowe, Jebbison, Ndiaye
The first major chance of the game fell to the Blades, after a corner was headed back towards Ndiaye, who did well to force Ortega into making a save from close range. Sheffield’s attacking presence seemed to end there though, and it was Haaland who put the ball in the net soon after – as he usually does! His effort from outside the box was ruled out after a foul in the buildup though.
Grealish found himself some wiggle room on the wing, which drew the full attention of two defenders – thus creating space for Alvarez on the edge of the box. The Argentine tried to bend one into the top corner, forcing Foderingham to shift over and make the save.
Sheffield United looked like they would manage to keep City’s attack at bay in the first half, but Jebbison made a bludgeoning error by swiping at Bernando Silva’s legs inside the box, and the referee had no choice but to award the Citizens a penalty. Mahrez sent Foderingham the wrong way from the spot, and City had taken the lead in this FA Cup semifinal!
It seemed that a collapse was inevitable for Sheffield United after the first goal, and they were dismantled in the second half when Lowe carelessly held onto the ball for too long. Mahrez then pounced on the wingback, driving the ball straight through the heart of the Sheffield United defence along the way before finishing cooly to double City’s lead.
Lightning struck thrice as Mahrez found himself on the scoresheet yet again. Grealish did well to draw the attention of two defenders once more on the wing, but this time played the ball across the floor into the box. Mahrez made a simple run across the penalty area, somehow managing to squeeze himself through a few defenders and proceeding to hit the target with enough power to leave Foderingham stranded.
The last chance of the game fell to Álvarez, who followed Foden’s pass by dragging the shot wide. Luckily for him, the game had already been put to bed by his Algerian teammate and this had no real consequence on the result. There was a bright moment for young substitute Cole Palmer who seemed to be going nowhere, but took on his man by driving to the byline. Despite his attempted cross being blocked, it garnered the applause of Pep Guardiola in the technical area.
And with that showing, Manchester City reach their second FA Cup final under Guardiola’s reign. City’s dominance seems to continue as their push for a potential historical treble is still on the cards as expected. Sheffield United will have nothing to be ashamed of though, as getting to a FA Cup semi-final is certainly not an easy feat. Any Blades fan would’ve taken that offer at the beginning of the season, as it’s not often their team play under the grandeur of the Wembley arch.