As we reach the halfway point of the latest international ennui, we at least get to spice up our footballing lives with a bit of refereeing controversy.
Was Mykhailo Mudryk tripped in the penalty area in the dying moments of Ukraine’s scoreless Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy? Was there contact? Was there “enough” contact? Did he embellish it? Did he embellish it too much? Does that matter? Should that matter? Was the VAR sleeping and/or blind?
My answers, in order: probably; I think so; depends on the angle; yes; possibly; unfortunately yes; nope; not an obvious error I guess?
How was this not a pen on mudryk for Ukraine??? pic.twitter.com/52VJrJeX1P— Steelo (@Vicreus_11) November 20, 2023
And so that match would end in a 0-0 draw, which meant that Italy secured their spot at Euro 2024, but Ukraine will have to go through the playoffs.
Mudryk did complete the full-90 and showed some of his usual glimpses of promise — and some of his usual shortcomings. Hope to see more of the former and less of latter in a Chelsea shirt as well.
Not the greatest Mudryk cameo but a proof that sometimes sofascore ratings aren’t the best judgmental factor of a players performance pic.twitter.com/SoPz0YFWQD— ☠️ (@AhmsLDN) November 20, 2023
Elsewhere, Cole Palmer made a late cameo in England’s disappointing (though ultimately meaningless) 1-1 draw with North Macedonia — Conor Gallagher did not play, which is good considering he was already pushing his injury luck for the previous game — while Ian Maatsen and Lesley Ugochukwu featured in Netherlands U21 and France U21 matches, respectively.