Italy Under-21 Coach Gigi Di Biagio admired their patience in a victory away to Northern Ireland, but Serbia complicate the group.
Daniele Rugani and Marcello Trotta secured a 2-0 result in today’s European Championship qualifier.
“It was a complicated game and we did well to figure out how to approach it,” Di Biagio told Rai Sport.
“We ran into a few problems at the start, then were able to get the measure of Northern Ireland.
“Even if we had not won today, I still would’ve been happy with the performance, though obviously winning makes it easier to give a positive judgment.”
The Azzurrini now have 12 points from six games, but Group 9 is now a lot more complicated than it was before.
That’s because Serbia earned a shock 3-0 win away to leaders Belgium, so they go joint top on 13 points from six games each.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!