Fury after Var denies Ukraine penalty and allows Italy to reach Euro 2024

Watch: Mykhailo Mudryk denied penalty which would have seen Ukraine qualify at Italy's expense
Ukraine's Mykhailo Mudryk reacts after having a penalty appeal turned down - Reuters/Thilo Schmuelgen

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 £88.5 million signing earlier this year, looked to have been tripped in the penalty by Bryan Cristante in the 93rd minute at BayArena in the winner-takes-all clash where the victory secured a place at the Euro finals next year.

With the game poised at 0-0, Spanish referee Jesús 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 full-back 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 from the right.

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 in Germany with a run of results that included a draw against England earlier in the season in Poland, with their matches played away from Ukraine due to the invasion by Russia.

Mudryk himself has been coming into good form after his disappointing start at Stamford Bridge after moving from Shakhtar Donetsk. He has found the net against Fulham and Arsenal, while also scoring against Malta last month for his country.

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