Having secured a place in the semifinals of the Champions League this week, Pep Guardiola’s team took another step toward a treble with a routine victory at Wembley Stadium.
Three goals for Riyad Mahrez protected Manchester City’s bid for three trophies.
The Algerian forward’s hat trick in a 3-0 win against Sheffield United on Saturday advanced City to the FA Cup final.
City can also seize control of the English Premier League title race against leader Arsenal on Wednesday.
In City’s current mood, it is difficult to see anyone stopping the defending league champion from emulating Manchester United’s 1999 treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup glory.
Certainly not second-division side Sheffield, whose chance of an historic FA Cup shock was effectively ended in the 43rd minute when Mahrez struck from the penalty spot after Daniel Jebbison fouled Bernardo Silva in the box.
Mahrez doubled City’s lead in the 61st when running straight through the heart of Sheffield’s defense and firing past Wes Foderingham.
The third came five minutes later when turning home Jack Grealish’s pass.
City was unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions and was not at its devastating best on Saturday, when leading scorer Erling Haaland failed to add to his 48 goals this season in a subdued performance.
Sheffield, which is on the brink of promotion to the Premier League, might have made more of a contest of it if Ilman Ndiaye had converted a close-range effort in the second minute, which was saved by Stefan Ortega.
LEICESTER FINALLY WINS
A first win in 11 games lifted Leicester out of the relegation zone. Despite going behind to a Matheus Cunha goal, Kelechi Iheanacho and Timothy Castagna struck as the Foxes beat Wolverhampton 2-1 at King Power Stadium to move them out of the bottom three on goal difference.
It was a good start for new manager Dean Smith in his first home game in charge since replacing the fired Brendan Rodgers.
That meant Everton dropped to 18th, despite a creditable 0-0 draw at in-form Crystal Palace that highlighted the Merseyside club’s struggles in front of goal.
The Toffees have scored only 24 times, lowest in the league.
LEEDS LOSES AGAIN
While Leeds avoided a third straight rout, losing to Fulham 2-1 was another blow to the Yorkshire club’s battle to avoid the drop.
Leeds remained in relegation danger in the Premier League after losing 2-1 at Fulham on the back of two mistakes from goalkeeper Illan Meslier on Saturday.
Both of Fulham’s goals came in the second half after Meslier failed to deal with the crosses from the left, with Harry Wilson and Andreas Pereira benefitting from the goalkeeper only parrying the ball out into the middle of the area.
An own-goal by Joao Palhinha in the 79th gave some late hope for Leeds, which started the game two points above the relegation zone and fell to a fourth loss in its last five games.
The win could have been bigger for Fulham, with free-kick shots from Pereira and Willian hitting the goal frame in a chaotic second half.
Instead, the hosts settled for the goals of Wilson, who smashed a fierce shot in off the underside of the crossbar in the 58th following Willian’s cross, and Pereira, who couldn’t miss inside the six-yard box after Meslier’s flap directed the ball straight at the Brazilian midfielder in the 72nd.
Having conceded 11 goals in it last two games — losing 5-1 to Palace and 6-1 to Liverpool – this was certainly an improvement for Javi Gracia’s team, but wins are increasingly hard to come by.
Tuesday’s home game against Leicester could be absolutely crucial to both teams’ hopes of survival.
BRENTFORD HOLDS VILLA
Aston Villa’s five-game winning streak was halted in a 1-1 draw at Brentford.
The Midlands club sparked hopes of an unlikely push for the top four after winning seven of its last eight games before Saturday’s game. But Ivan Toney’s goal put Brentford on the brink victory before Douglas Luiz struck in the 87th to earn a draw for Villa.
“We can play better and we have to demand to play better for the next matches,” Villa manager Unai Emery said.
EVERTON IN RELEGATION ZONE
Everton slipped into the English Premier League relegation zone after drawing at Crystal Palace 0-0 on Saturday.
Despite earning a point at Selhurst Park, Everton fell into the bottom three because Leicester City beat Wolverhampton 2-1.
It could have been worse for the Toffees after going down to 10 men in the 80th minute when defender Mason Holgate picked up his second yellow card for a questionable tackle.
Sean Dyche’s squad held on for the draw, which extended the team’s winless run to five games.
Eberechi Eze thought he gave Palace the lead in the 57th when he chipped the ball over goalkeeper Jordan Pickford but he was ruled offside.
Palace remained unbeaten since the return of manager Roy Hodgson, who oversaw three straight wins entering the match.