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Chiesa Shines in Italy's 5-2 Victory, Sets Sights on Euro 2024 Qualification Against Ukraine

 Chiesa Shines in Italy's 5-2 Victory, Sets Sights on Euro 2024 Qualification Against Ukraine

 Matteo Darmian of Italy celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during with his teammate Federico Dimarco and Federico Chiesa of Italy the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match between Italy and North Macedonia at Stadio Olimpico on November 17, 2023 in Rome, Italy(Image-Getty)

Federico Chiesa showcased a stellar performance, scoring twice as Italy triumphed with a 5-2 home victory against North Macedonia in their Euro 2024 qualifying clash. The win positions Italy favorably ahead of a crucial encounter with Ukraine on Monday, where a draw will secure their second-place spot in Group C, alongside already-qualified England, granting them entry to next year's finals in Germany.

Italy has faced challenges against North Macedonia in the past, suffering a 1-0 defeat at home in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and later playing to a 1-1 draw in Euro qualifying during manager Luciano Spalletti's debut as Azzurri coach in September.

Despite the historical difficulties, Italy dominated the match. Matteo Darmian broke the deadlock after 17 minutes, heading in a corner at the back post. Chiesa doubled the lead with a curling shot from the edge of the box four minutes before halftime, and just before the break, he scored his second with a deflected shot.

North Macedonia made a comeback in the second half, with Jani Atanasov scoring twice, including a deflected long-range shot in the 74th minute. However, Italy displayed resilience, with Giacomo Raspadori and Stephan El Shaarawy adding two more goals to secure the 5-2 victory.

Manager Luciano Spalletti commented on the match, acknowledging the challenge posed by North Macedonia's comeback but expressing satisfaction with Italy's character and quality. Despite a penalty miss by Jorginho and the deflected goals, Italy demonstrated strength and determination.

Looking ahead to the crucial clash with Ukraine, Spalletti hinted at minimal changes in the lineup, stating, "As for the next match, we have to see how everyone is doing, but I do not predict that many changes." Italy's ability to secure at least a draw against Ukraine will determine their qualification for the Euro 2024 finals.

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