Italy, the defending champions, welcomed North Macedonia last night to play the UEFA Euro Qualifier in Group C. It was a goal galore as the match saw seven goals at the Stadio Olimpico Tour. Italy, literally, ran a riot over North Macedonia and won the match by a 5-2 margin.
This victory has moved Italy to the second place in Group C, while North Macedonia slipped down to the 7th position. At the same time, England bagged full three points as they defeated Malta by a 2-0 margin.
Italy 5-2 North Macedonia
Since only two teams from each group will qualify for the UEFA Euro, Italy had no alternative to beat North Macedonia with a higher margin as they had equal points as Ukraine. That is why Italy boss Luciano Spalletti deployed the best possible XI against Macedonia.
Luciano Spalletti set up the team formation with 4-3-3, where Giacomo Raspadori, Federico Chiesa, and Domenico Berardi were leading the attack for the Azzurri. On the flip, North Macedonia’s manager made a challenging decision as he played his team in a 3-4-3 formation. He deployed three defenders only against the home side.
The match started with the home side dominating the visitors at the Stadio Olimpico Tour. They were very aggressive from the start and didn’t take much time to break the deadlock. In the 17th minute, Italian defender Matteo Darmian drew the first blood as he found the net with the help of Raspadori.
North Macedonia, however, responded well but couldn’t break Italy’s defense in the first half. Moreover, the visitors conceded two more goals just before the half-time whistle. In the 41st minute, Federico Chiesa doubled the lead for the Azzurri. The home team got another goal in the injury time of the first half. This time, Chiesa completed his brace with the help of Berardi. As a result, the first half ended in a 3-0 scoreline.
Coming back from the break, North Macedonia scored their first goal of the match. Midfleder Jani Atanasov found the net for the visitors in the 52nd minute. This goal boosted the visitors’ performance, which led them to score 2nd goal in the 74th minute.
It seemed North Macedonia could make a comeback against the Azzurri following their two back-to-back goals. But the home team was so compact in defense and didn’t concede further goals. Moreover, Giacomo Raspadori killed Macedonia’s hope as he scored a stunning goal in the 81st minute to make the scoreline 4-2.
Italy, however, got their fifth goal in injury time when Stephan El Shaarawy netted the ball with Dimarco’s assist. This goal secured a dominating victory over North Macedonia by a 5-2 margin. Italy still has the same 13 points as Ukraine. But they stand in 2nd due to the goal difference.