Why Erling Haaland Missed FA Cup Semi-Final Against Chelsea

Manchester City v Real Madrid CF: Quarter-final Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Manchester City v Real Madrid CF: Quarter-final Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Forcing the heartbreaking Champions League semi-final loss against Real Madrid on the back burner, Manchester City arrived at Wembley Stadium to take on Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

A fatigued City unit's spirits were high, but they missed the services of premier striker Erling Haaland in an important knockout game. As City released its lineup for the Chelsea game, the Norwegian forward's absence from the starting eleven raised eyebrows, and rightly so, as City was facing a formidable opponent in an important tournament's semi-finals.

Haaland, who was forced out against Madrid just before extra time, was missing from the bench as well. 

Erling Haaland
Manchester City v Real Madrid CF: Quarter-final Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

Meanwhile, manager Pep Guardiola confirmed that Haaland was reeling with an injury to BBC Sports before conspiracy theories started to creep in. Apparently, the Norwegian striker suffered a muscular issue against Real Madrid on Thursday, and subsequently, he requested a substitution before the game went into extra time. While at Etihad, Pep downplayed the injury concern that flared after early sub, citing fatigue; he was forced to come clean at Wembley. 

Guardiola confirmed that Erling Haaland isn't fit enough to even come off the bench and, therefore, has been scratched from the FA Cup lineup against Chelsea. As for the upcoming PL fixture against Brighton scheduled for Thursday, Pep is unsure of Haaland's availability. Notably, in Haaland's absence, Julian Alvarez was featured in City's attack versus Chelsea, and Kevin De Bruyne also made a start despite the early exit versus Madrid.

""He's injured. I don't think it's much but he's not available for today. I don't know [if he will be back for the next game].""

Guardiola told the BBC.

Importantly, Erling Haaland missed two initial months of the ongoing PL season with a foot injury. Yet he managed to score 20 goals already. However, the acclaimed striker landed in hot waters this year for his underwhelming show in crucial knockout matches and overall high-stakes games. He went scoreless in most recent games against Liverpool, Real Madrid and Arsenal. And with transfer rumours circling in, the blank games are hurting Haaland more so than ever.

That being said, despite Haaland's absence, Man City outclassed Chelsea courtesy of Bernando Silva's stellar touch in the 84th minute of the regulation time.


With that goal, City managed to set up a derby for the FA Cup final against Manchester United, which will not happen until May 25.

Shifting focus back to the English Premier League, as the title race against Arsenal and Liverpool heats up, Manchester City's next stop is Falmer Stadium, where the Cityzens will be up against Brighton.