Italy disappoints again in North Macedonia draw, souring Spalletti’s debut

Italy disappoints again in North Macedonia draw, souring Spalletti's debut
Italy disappoints again in North Macedonia draw, souring Spalletti's debut

Italy’s chances of defending their European Championship crown suffered a blow on Saturday after a 1-1 away draw at North Macedonia in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Enis Bardhi smashed in a free-kick for the hosts with nine minutes remaining in the Group C clash in Skopje on Luciano Spalletti’s debut as Azzurri coach.

Spalletti took charge of the national team last month following Roberto Mancini’s shock resignation and his team flopped against the side which dumped Italy out of the last World Cup in the play-offs.

Italy, who scored through Ciro Immobile, sit third in the group on four points following the third match of their qualifying campaign.

They are nine points behind leaders England who have played two more games and were held to a 1-1 draw by second-placed Ukraine earlier on Saturday.

Spalletti’s side are three points behind Ukraine with the pair facing off at the San Siro on Tuesday night, a crucial fixture for each side’s hopes of claiming one of two automatic spots fo

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