Guardiola reveals Riyad Mahrez was 'grumpy' over his lack of game time
Pep Guardiola reveals Riyad Mahrez was ‘grumpy’ over a lack of game time before his FA Cup semi-final hat-trick, with the Man City boss hailing the winger’s ‘decisive’ contribution
- Man City booked their place in the FA Cup final after beating Sheffield United
- Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick at Wembley against the Championship side
- Pep Guardiola praised the winger’s contribution to Man City’s achievements
Pep Guardiola has revealed Riyad Mahrez had been ‘grumpy’ with him over his lack of game time for Manchester City, prior to scoring a hat-trick against Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-final.
Mahrez scored all three goals in Man City’s comfortable 3-0 win over the Championship side on Saturday, with the Algerian becoming the first player to score an FA Cup semi-final hat-trick at Wembley.
The 32-year-old opened the scoring from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, after Daniel Jebbison was penalised for a foul on Bernardo Silva.
His second was a superb solo goal with the winger receiving the ball just inside the Sheffield United’s half, before running at the defence and passing into the net.
Mahrez sealed the win in the 66th minute when he slotted home Jack Grealish’s cross, becoming the first player since Man United’s Alex Dawson in 1958 to score an FA Cup semi-final hat-trick in the process.
Riyad Mahrez proved the difference between Man City and Sheffield United at Wembley
Mahrez became the first player to score an FA Cup semi-final hat-trick at Wembley Stadium
Guardiola hailed Mahrez contribution to his treble chasing side post match, with the Man City boss revealing the winger had been grumpy over his lack of minutes recently.
‘He’s grumpy with me when he doesn’t play, all the time,’ Guardiola said in his post-match press conference. ‘He makes me notice when he’s grumpy.
‘He is an exceptional player, his playing is exceptional on the biggest stages and he has the mentality to score a goal. The composure for the penalty was important, and the second and third were brilliant.
‘So satisfied for Riyad because he loves to play football, he’s given many, many things in these years and hopefully more in the future.
‘Riyad plays good in every game, also in decisive games, he loves to play football.
‘He is not a guy who has a contract, has to do his job, thinks how many hours I have to train, do my job and go home. Completely the opposite.
‘He loves to be in contact with the ball, that’s why when he’s upset [not] to play is because he wants to play.’
Mahrez had been left on the bench throughout both legs of Man City’s Champions League quarter-final triumph over Bayern Munich, with Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish favoured for the tie.
Pep Guardiola’s side took one step closer to a treble by booking a place in the FA Cup final
The Algerian has still played 38 games for City during the campaign in all competitions, scoring 15 goals and providing eight assists.
City will face either arch rivals Manchester United or Brighton in the FA Cup final in June, while they will meet reigning European champions Real Madrid in the last four of the Champions League.
Guardiola’s side face a potential Premier League title deciding match against Arsenal on Wednesday, with the Gunners five points clear but with City having two games in hand on the leaders.
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