‘Sometimes it happens’ - Liverpool icon defends Haaland after FA Cup final disappointment

Erling Haaland's FA Cup final impact was minimal against Manchester United (Imago/Sportimage)


Erling Haaland struggled in Manchester City's FA Cup final loss to Manchester United (Imago/Sportimage)

‘Sometimes it happens’ - Liverpool icon defends Haaland after FA Cup final disappointment

Seye Omidiora 11:10 - 27.05.2024

Steve Nicol has refused to criticise the Manchester City striker after a below-par showing in Saturday’s cup final loss to Manchester United.

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol has leapt to Erling Haaland’s defence after the criticism of the Manchester City striker in Saturday’s FA Cup final loss. 

How did Haaland fare in FA Cup final?

The Norwegian’s impact was minimal as Pep Guardiola’s men suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Manchester United, ending the Cityzens’ 11-match undefeated run and thwarting their ambition to become the first English side to claim consecutive doubles. 

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland fired blanks against Manchester United in the FA Cup final (Imago/Pro Sports Images)

What did Nicol say about Haaland?

Firing blanks in the FA Cup final loss means Haaland has failed to find the back of the net in last season’s Champions League semi-final ties against Real Madrid, the final against Inter and the Super Cup success over Sevilla

The striker has also not scored in two Community Shield appearances and both FA Cup deciders against Manchester United, leading to criticism of the 23-year-old. 

Nicol has played down Haaland’s lack of goals in decisive matches, as he expects it to change sooner or later. 

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol pictured in 2008 (Imago/Icon Sportswire)

“I played with a guy called Ian Rush, who was Liverpool’s greatest goalscorer of all time, and it took him eight years to score against Man United,” Nicol said on ESPN FC. “And I heard all the stories about why he couldn’t do it.

“Sometimes things like this just happen, and right now that’s where I am. If you ask me in five or six years and he’s played another 10 finals, I may come around to him being the problem. But right now, I don’t think he’s the problem.”

What comes next for Haaland?

With Norway not featuring in this summer’s European Championship, Haaland has no summer commitments and should return refreshed for Man City’s preseason.