A bright but brief cameo appearance from Mykhailo Mudryk offered a shaft of light in an otherwise underwhelming goalless stalemate between Liverpool and Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
Kai Havertz had the ball in the back of the net after just three minutes. VAR intervened to spot that the German had strayed offside before he stabbed in, showing the clinical edge that an onside Thiago Silva lacked when he hit the post from close range at the start of the move.
After the initial flurry of video intervention, it was a tight first half between two sides that very much looked like they started the day ninth and tenth in the table.
Graham Potter countered Liverpool’s quick start to the second half with the introduction of his highly-anticipated acquisition.
Such is the swiftness of public discourse in the sphere of football, scores of onlookers leapt upon Mudryk’s very first touch as a Chelsea player. Trying to take the ball around the red shirt that faced him, Mudryk couldn’t catch up to his heavy touch, much to the glee of non-Chelsea fans.
However, those of a blue persuasion didn’t have to wait long before Mudryk began to justify his lofty billing. The 22-year-old tip-toed through a forest of red shirts in Liverpool’s box shortly after his arrival but could only find the side netting. Moments later he demonstrated his electric pace, as advertised, against the wily yet walking James Milner, who was deputising for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Gary Neville was one of several former players that were impressed by Mudryk’s electric introduction.
Jermaine Jenas wasn’t the only former Tottenham player that highlighted the potential talent that Arsenal missed out on.
His second-half appearance may have lasted barely half an hour, but Mudryk had clearly done enough to set the minds of optimistic onlookers racing.
Ultimately, neither Mudryk nor anyone else on the pitch was able to break the deadlock, leaving both sides stranded in mid-table, nine points behind Newcastle in fourth place and a yawning 18 adrift of the league-leading Gunners.