Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has criticised Chelsea winger Mykhaylo Mudryk for his role in England’s opening goal against Ukraine.
The Three Lions continued their winning start to their Euro 2024 qualification campaign by backing up their 2-1 victory against Italy in Naples earlier in the week with a 2-0 win over Ukraine on Sunday.
After becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer against Italy, Harry Kane extended his tally to 55 goals for the Three Lions with the opening goal at Wembley against Ukraine.
Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka provided the assist before curling home a brilliant 20-yard shot only a few minutes later which completed a 2-0 victory for Gareth Southgate’s side.
But Gerrard thinks Ukraine interim boss Ruslan Rotan will have been “disappointed” by the defending from Chelsea winger Mudryk for Saka’s goal.
“From a Ukraine point of view, it’s fantastic play from England as they open the pitch up, but you would be really disappointed if you’re the coach with Mudryk,” Gerrard told Channel 4.
“With all due respect he is still learning the game but you know that you need to keep Saka on his right foot, you can’t allow him to come in on that left foot because it’s a wand and he gets it right on the money.”
Southgate was delighted by Saka’s performance against Ukraine and hailed the Arsenal star who scored his eighth goal for England on Sunday.
The England boss said: “I just think when he’s in front of goal now he plays with real belief. That’s evident with his club and that’s evident in the games with us.
“You’re expecting him to score now when he goes through and I think that’s been a mentality shift as much as it’s anything technical.
“He’s always had the techniques, so I think he knows to be a really top wide player you need the numbers of goals and assists and he has, without a doubt, delivered that all season.”
Southgate added: “His hunger, his humility, are what’s got him on a good path. He has all the attributes to continue to improve and learn because that’s how he’s wired.
“I don’t see that changing with how he is and how his family are. He’s got great support around him.
“I’m not going to get drawn into where he sits in world football because that would then be starting to put him in danger of doing all the things that we shouldn’t be doing with him.
“He’s progressing brilliantly. He’s a joy to work with. We should leave it at that (rather than compare him to others).”