Late penalty drama has dominated the discourse after Italy’s tense draw with Ukraine in their key Euro 2024 qualifier.
In the 92nd minute of the final qualifying match of Group C at the BayArena, Roma’s Bryan Cristante came together with Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk in the Italy penalty area. In real time it was debatably a penalty and Ukraine were incensed when referee Jesús Gil Manzano allowed play to continue without personally checking the VAR monitor.
Italy held on and saw out the goalless draw, a result that secured their second-place finish in Group C, booking their spot in next summer’s European Championship in Germany. In post-match reviews, the late penalty drama proved to be the number one talking point.
Page two of today’s Gazzetta dello Sport reflected on the incident, weighing in on the referee’s decision and if Ukraine should’ve been awarded a late penalty against Italy.
“The Azzurri player’s foot seems to touch the right foot of the Ukrainian attacker, who immediately falls to the ground as if struck by electricity.
“The fact remains that Gil Manzano didn’t give the penalty, he waited and then VAR (Munuera) let it go by endorsing the decision from the field.”
Former Inter defender Beppe Bergomi gave his opinion in the studios of Sky Sports Italia, saying: “The touch is there, Mudryk is early. The referee never called a foul on the player in the whole match, also due to the way he fell.
“He certainly judged it that way, but I thought: if it had happened, I don’t know how we would’ve reacted. Then if I think back to the past, to the 2002 World Cup, I’d say it’s okay. But if the roles were reversed, what would we have said? The contact is there, little to add.”