Ukraine fury over Mudryk penalty claim
By Mike Mcgrath
Sport | Football
Chelsea winger Mykhailo Mudryk was at the centre of Var controversy as Ukraine were denied automatic qualification to the European Championship in a dramatic finale against Italy in Leverkusen. Mudryk, the £88.5million signing earlier this year, looked to have been tripped in the penalty area by Bryan Cristante in the 93rd minute at Bayarena. With the game poised at 0-0, Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano waved play on after seeing the incident and his decision was not overturned by the video assistant referee overseeing the game. It led to furious protests on the Ukraine bench, led by manager Sergei Rebrov and Arsenal fullback Oleksandr Zinchenko, who believed Mudryk had his ankle caught by Cristante as he drove towards goal after getting on the end of Oleksandr Zubkov’s cross. With the final two minutes of stoppage time played out, the match finished goalless and meant Italy finished second in Group C, with England’s place at the top already secured ahead of the last round of matches before the draw in Hamburg next week. Ukraine can still qualify for next summer’s finals but will have to go through the play-off route, with the matches in March. Italy, who were defeated home and away by England, finished on 14 points which puts them in Pot 3 for the draw. Rebrov’s team mounted a challenge for an automatic spot with a run of results that included a draw against England earlier in the season in Poland, with their home matches played away from Ukraine.