Ally McCoist has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 1/6; 21:40) that Oleksandr Zinchenko was the man of the match by a mile as the Arsenal target helped Ukraine to an emotional victory over Scotland on Wednesday, while Kris Boyd labelled his performance ‘unbelievable’.
Ukraine are one step closer to booking their spot at the World Cup. They beat Steve Clarke’s men 3-1 at Hampden Park. And they will now meet Wales to decide who is going to Qatar.
Some may have expected Ukraine’s players to struggle to deal with the occasion. It has been an awful time for their country. But their people have inspired so many. And with that, the players would have been forgiven for feeling the weight of the pressure.
However, it was Scotland who fluffed their lines on the big stage. Ukraine largely cruised through, with Zinchenko setting up the crucial third goal in stoppage-time to ensure that the visitors got the win.
The Manchester City man was superb in Glasgow. He provided three key passes and won four tackles, according to Whoscored. No player on either side managed more.
Arsenal would have taken note of his performance. Reports claimed that Mikel Arteta wants to sign the 25-year-old from Manchester City this summer.
And certainly, McCoist felt that he was the standout player at Hampden before Boyd went on to label his display ‘unbelievable’.
“I need to tell you guys, the performance again, the ball from Zinchenko, I said it a couple of times on commentary, I thought he was man of the match by the proverbial mile. They were better than us this evening,” McCoist told Sky Sports.
Zinchenko man of the match
Scotland were extremely poor on the night. But they had a side more than good enough to win. Seven of their starting 11 played in the Premier League this past season. Aaron Hickey meanwhile, is a key Arsenal target.
So Zinchenko standing out says a lot. If Arsenal were weighing up a move, his performance on Wednesday would have done him no harm at all.