Scotland v Ukraine expert reaction: 'Outclassed'; 'All over the place'; 'Beaten by a far better team'; 'Going on 6-0'

Following Scotland’s disappointing World Cup exit at the hands of Ukraine, here’s what former national team managers, players and pundits had to say.

Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 12:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 7:19 pm

Craig Levein, former Scotland manager

“Nobody could argue that wasn't the correct result. We spoke about Scotland's inadequacies in the first-half, but Ukraine played fantastically well. Craig Gordon made some unbelievable saves to keep Scotland in it. The system did change after that and it looked better, gave us an opportunity. But you're asking a lot to get back in the game from 2-0 down.”

Craig Brown, former Scotland manager

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Scotland's Craig Gordon looks dejected after Ukraine score their third goal at Hampden. Picture: Ewan Bootman / SNS

"Steve Clarke is an outstanding football manager, he's got a good staff and he's got a very good, healthy group of players at the right age. We were outclassed last night but that happens. Usually the best player wins the match. Unfortunately for Scotland we weren't at our best and Ukraine deservedly beat us."

Willie Miller, former Scotland defender

“I've not seen a Scotland team so outplayed in every department, with so many chances created against them. Craig Gordon did what Craig Gordon does. It could have been an embarrassing night for us, but I really enjoyed watching Ukraine. The shape was totally wrong right from the start. At the back, we were all over the place.”

Graeme Souness, former Scotland midfielder

“You've got to give Ukraine credit for the way they've come into the lion's den and performed. Ukraine looked a really good outfit and they made us look pedestrian for most of the first half. They could've put the game to bed long before the third went in. Zinchenko ran the show and I don't think there were any surprises in what we saw from him. I'm reluctant to be harsh on Scotland as we play with spirit but we didn't have the quality to match Ukraine in vital areas. It saddens me to say this but we just weren't good enough.”

Ally McCoist, former Scotland striker

"Let's be frank about it, Ukraine deserved it. They have been clinical – they could've been more clinical to be honest. Ukraine were better than Scotland, who huffed in the second half when they got into them. Scotland scored and put Ukraine under a bit of pressure. But all in all, no complaints. The better team won. I don't think it was a case of the occasion being too big for some of the players, I just think it's the brutal fact that Scotland have been beaten by a far better team. It was a brave and bold decision to play two up front which I don't think worked for us. When you do that, they dominated the middle of the park and they utilised that very well.”

Leanne Crichton, ex-Scotland international

“From start to finish, Scotland were reactive. The changes came far too late. What message does it send to your strikers on the bench watching your centre-half up top? Scotland were outclassed and Ukraine can be so proud of themselves.”

Tom English, BBC Scotland chief sports writer

“Ukraine had so many chances in this game, they were by far and away the better side and they deserve to go into the final. It's a beautiful moment for them and their fans. Scotland were lamentable for too long. It was going on 6-0. Steve Clarke got it wrong. He got his team wrong, he got his formation wrong.”