Ukrainian duo Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko embrace before tributes at Goodison Park leave the Manchester City man in tears ahead of kick-off
- Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday morning
- Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko are both Ukrainian internationals
- They embraced each other prior to kick-off between Everton and Man City
- Zinchenko was left in tears as Goodison Park showed their support for Ukraine
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko shared an emotional moment prior to Saturday’s clash between Manchester City and Everton as the pair hugged each other in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
The Ukrainian duo may be on opposing teams at Goodison Park but this did not matter here, given what is currently taking place in their homeland.
With both teams warming up prior to kick-off, Zinchenko and Mykolenko headed over to one another to embrace and appeared to share a few words of comfort.
Both players were named among the substitutes for their respective clubs, and they re-emerged from the tunnel a few minutes before kick-off to take their places on the bench.
Zinchenko was clearly appreciative of the support from both sets of supporters as he applauded the home fans on his way across the pitch.
As the two sides came out for the match, each of Everton’s players held a Ukrainian flag over their shoulders.
Meanwhile, City’s squad all wore shirts with the words ‘NO WAR’ across the front and back of them.
The 1969 hit ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’ by The Hollies was then played inside the stadium, sparking an emotional reaction from Zinchenko.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko hugged one another before kick-off on Saturday
Zinchenko was clearly emotional before kick-off as he applauded both sets of fans
The City left-back was unable to hold back the tears as the whole of Goodison Park rose in a show of solidarity with Ukraine.
City have the chance to move six points clear at the top of the table with a win, while Everton could increase the gap between themselves and the bottom three if they overcome Pep Guardiola’s men.
However, it is the emotional scenes before a ball was even kicked that are likely to live long in the memory.
Everton’s players had Ukrainian flags draped over their shoulders as they lined up for the game
Man City’s players had ‘No War’ messages on the front and back of their shirts prior to kick-off