Luciano Spalletti’s touchline debut at Italy didn’t go according to plan as North Macedonia held Gli Azzurri to a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening. After a topsy-turvy two-game start to their Euro 2024 qualifying Group C campaign (W1, L1), the Italians have completed a mixed bag of performance with a gut-wrenching share of the spoils in Skopje.
Ciro Immobile marked his first international appearance as the Italy captain with a goal, scoring within two minutes into the second half. However, North Macedonia pegged Gli Azzurri back in the 81st minute through Enis Bardhi, complicating the reigning European champions’ life in this keenly-contested section.
An underwhelming result at the National Arena Toshe Proeski kept Italy three points adrift of runners-up Ukraine. But with a game in hand, Spalletti’s men still have a firm control of their fate, especially with a home encounter against the Ukrainians coming up next.
The result itself wasn’t the only concern Italy picked up in Skopje. Roma defender Gianluca Mancini had to leave the pitch before the hour mark in pain, with Atalanta’s Giorgio Scalvini taking his place. The center-back’s injury poured more misery on Jose Mourinho’s squad, as per Calciomercato.
Mancini’s withdrawal followed the unfortunate muscular problem suffered by his Roma teammate Lorenzo Pellegrini. The highly-rated midfielder was supposed to start tonight but had to pull out of the squad in the build-up with a minor fitness issue.
It’s the last thing Roma needed after losing Paulo Dybala and Renato Sanches to injuries before the international break.
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