24 November 2023
Three home wins out of three for SpallettiThe most interesting facts after the Azzurri’s victory over North Macedonia
Saturday, November 18, 2023
Three home wins out of three for Spalletti’s Italy: at the Olimpico, the Azzurri beat North Macedonia for the first time in front of their own fans after previously drawing in Turin (2017) and losing in Palermo (2022). The team’s five-goal haul is the most they’ve scored under the Head Coach so far, even if their 4-0 victory over Malta remains their highest winning margin (+4). In each of the Azzurri’s last three home games, an Italy player has bagged a brace: Frattesi against Ukraine in Milan, Berardi against Malta in Bari and Chiesa in Rome yesterday.
INDIVIDUAL STATS – On an individual level, Donnarumma has now made 59 appearances (the same as Calligaris, Costacurta and Vialli), while Barella and Darmian respectively won their 50th and 40th caps last night. Bryan Cristante, meanwhile, came off the bench for the 21st time to make his 37th appearance for Italy: no National Team player has played a higher percentage of their games as a substitute (57%). Nevertheless, Del Piero has won the most caps after starting on the bench: 30 (out of 91, 33%).
Federico Chiesa bagged his first Italy brace (he previously hadn’t scored since the team’s 3-2 victory away to the Netherlands in the Nations League on 18/06/2023) to draw level with, among others, his father, Enrico, in the all-time Azzurri goalscoring charts. In 1998, Enrico scored more than once in a single Italy match for the one and only time at the Olimpico, netting a hat-trick against the FIFA World XI. Almost 25 years later (24 years and 336 days), Federico didn’t quite score three goals but netted twice.
Meanwhile, Giacomo Raspadori returned to the scoresheet for the first time since Hungary 0-2 Italy on 26/09/2022. He now has six goals for his country. After netting five times in his first 15 appearances (in 663 minutes; only Toni, Riva and Inzaghi had done better), he failed to score in seven matches. Now, after 456 minutes, he’s back to scoring ways. For the first time, the Napoli man both scored and provided an assist in the same Azzurri match. In total, he’s set up an Italy teammate to find the net three times during his senior international career. As for Stephan El Shaarawy, he scored for the first time in three years: he last bagged for Italy in a friendly against Moldova on 7 October 2020 (he netted a brace that day).
Matteo Darmian scored his second Italy goal eight years on from his first, which arrived in Baku on 10 October 2015 (Azerbaijan 1-3 Italy). 2960 days separated these finishes compared to the 3122 days that passed between goals No.7 (Romania 1-1 Italy on 17 November 2010) and No.8 (Italy 6-0 Liechtenstein on 26 March 2019) for Fabio Quagliarella, who, in netting against Liechtenstein, became the Azzurri’s all-time oldest scorer at the age of 36.
Jorginho, however, was unable to return to the scoresheet and has now missed three consecutive penalties for Italy (four if penalty shootouts are included). The Azzurri have scored 97 out of the 120 penalties they’ve been awarded in history (81%). Baggio (7/7), Del Piero (6/6) and De Rossi (5/5) proved to be specialists from the spot.
TEAM STATS – The Azzurri finished a match with five goals to their name for the first time since Italy 5-0 Lithuania in World Cup qualifying on 08/09/2021. You have to go back 20 years for the last time Italy recorded two consecutive home qualifying wins with at least four goals in both matches: 4-0 against Wales and the same scoreline against Azerbaijan in September and October 2003, respectively.
The win against North Macedonia was Italy’s 39th in Rome (out of 64 games, 61%), where they’ve now emerged victorious as many times as they have in Milan (39/61, 64%). The Azzurri have now gone seven games without defeat at the Olimpico (six wins and a draw).