“He’s grumpy with me” - Guardiola cracks joke about Riyad Mahrez after his hat-trick for Manchester City in FA Cup semi-final

Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City beat Sheffield United 3-0 in FA Cup semis.
Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City beat Sheffield United 3-0 in FA Cup semis.

Pep Guardiola has joked that Riyad Mahrez doesn't hide his unhappiness when he isn't playing regularly for Manchester City.

The brilliant Algerian winger grabbed a Wembley hat-trick as the Cityzens beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the FA Cup semifinals earlier today (April 22). He started the game down the right flank and played the full 90 minutes.

The 32-year-old opened the scoring through a penalty kick on the stroke of half-time before grabbing his second courtesy of a brilliant solo run in the 61st minute. He completed his hat trick five minutes later after applying a first-time finish to a low cross from Jack Grealish.

For all his talent, Mahrez isn't a fixed starter in Guardiola's first-team set-up. He has been left as an unused substitute 11 times across competitions this season, while nine of his 38 appearances during that time have come from the bench.

Speaking after Manchester City reached their first FA Cup final since the 2018-19 season, Guardiola went on to joke, via @Fabrizio Romano on Twitter:

"Mahrez? He’s grumpy with me when he doesn’t play, all the time. He makes me notice when he’s grumpy. I’m so happy for Riyad, he loves to play football, he’s given so much for this club and hopefully in the future."

Mahrez has registered 78 goals and 54 assists in 227 career games for the Cityzens since joining them in July 2018. He will enter the final two years of his contract at the start of next season.

Manchester City will find out who they will face in the FA Cup final when Manchester United take on Brighton & Hove Albion tomorrow (April 23). There has never been a Manchester derby in the final of the FA Cup until now.

Manchester City star pleased with performance as Guardiola's side end FA Cup hoodoo

Manchester City exited the FA Cup in the semifinal stages for three consecutive seasons before their win against Sheffield United.

Arsenal (2-0), Chelsea (1-0) and Liverpool (3-2) were the teams that knocked the Cityzens out at the penultimate hurdle in the FA Cup during that time. That run is now over, and the Cityzens have Mahrez to thank for it.

Speaking after his team's win against the Blades, Mahrez told ITV, via Manchester Evening News:

"The most important thing is that after three years in a row where we came here in the semi-final, we always lost and didn't really play good, and today we all really wanted to make sure that we put in a good performance and go to the final."

Despite winning the EFL Cup four times under Pep Guardiola, the Cityzens have won the FA Cup just once during the Spaniard's reign at the Etihad.

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