Scotland 1 Ukraine 3: Rangers duo agree on player who "ran the show" in World Cup play-off

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s midfield display for Ukraine in the 3-1 World Cup play-off win over Scotland at Hampden had two former Rangers managers enthralled.

Both Graeme Souness and Ally McCoist praised the Manchester City player’s performance – in his secondary position of central midfield, where he is usually deployed as a left-sided defender.

However on international duty he often steps forward and it was in the middle of the park he caught the eye of a fellow midfielder who knows the position well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Souness said: “Zinchenko ran the show. I don’t think there’s any surprise from what we saw form him tonight.

“When he’s at City he’s in and out, flirts between left-back and centre midfield – the position he played tonight. When he goes in there he is a really, really good football player.

“He was the catalyst for keeping the ball, for turning out and going backwards when it was right, threading the ball through when it was right. He played like a seasoned midfield player in there.

"I’m reluctant to be harsh because we played with a great deal of spirit but the bottom line is we just didn’t have the quality to match the Ukranians in vital areas.”

The midfield, and the midfielder too, was highlighted by McCoist also speaking during Sky Sports’ post-match analysis. He said: “They outnumbered us in the middle of the park with very clever football players. In Zinchenko, quite frankly, I thought they had the best player on the park, I thought he was absolutely outstanding.

“I wouldn’t say the occasion got to us, I just think we were beaten by the better side.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.