Chelsea's Mykhailo Mudryk comes up short as Italy deny Ukraine EURO 2024 spot after 0-0 draw
By Alessandro Schiavone at BayArena in Leverkusen
Ukraine 0-0 Italy
Mykhailo Mudryk failed in his mission to fire Ukraine to EURO 2024 following a goalless draw with Italy at the BayArena in Leverkusen last night where he did anything but spark. A stalemate is what the Azzurri needed to make sure of matters ahead of tonight’s opponents thanks to a better head-to-head record having beaten Ukraine 2-1 in the reverse fixture in Milan. And in perfect Italy style, they did just that, the bare minimum. For Ukraine to have any chance of winning this game and qualify for Germany outright, Mudryk had to fire on all cylinders. But like so often in London, the left winger also failed to put a smile on his war-ridden and wounded compatriots’ faces. Each time he received the ball he looked like he'd rip Italy apart thanks to his first touch, zest and speed before flattering to deceive by running into dead ends and traffic. With the pace and trickery he has, he clearly should have forced the issue by throwing the kitchen sink at the Azzurri. But Giovanni Di Lorenzo being the experienced player he is, he had him in his pocket. Late on Mudryk even had the chance to win it for Sergei Rebrov but Gigio Donnarumma had other ideas as he rushed off the line to block the effort. To add insult to injury, the referee then waved off his appeals for a stoppage-time penalty after a challenge from Bryan Cristante. Fast forward to March, Chelsea’s overpriced £88.5 million signing will have to be better than this if Ukraine are to qualify for the tournament on these shores via the unpopular play-offs.