In London, Liverpool had beaten Chelsea on penalties to win the Carabao Cup. In Brighton, Graham Potter’s team were stuck in a rut of six successive defeats. In Kyiv, Roberto De Zerbi received a phone call.
It was almost midnight on Sunday, February 27 — three days after Russia’s invasion — and De Zerbi and eight Italian members of his coaching staff at Shakhtar Donetsk were sheltering in the underground bunker of the Opera Hotel, unable to sleep amid artillery fire, when they were told they had 10 minutes to leave.
They had helped their terrified Brazilian players flee from the war with their young families the previous day and now it was their turn to step out and make their escape from a city under attack.
Brighton have confirmed the appointment of Italian manager…