A first-half Daniele De Rossi penalty and late second from Ciro Immobile was enough to earn the Azzurri three points, but they remain behind
De Rossi converted the spot-kick on 12 minutes after Migjen Basha, one of six Albanians plying his club trade in
Albanian fans threw flares on to the pitch in disgust and when they did so again just before the hour mark, the game was suspended for five minutes.
Immobile made the game safe 10 minutes from time by heading home a Davide Zappacosta cross.
“At the start, there was too much tension, we tried to do too much and missed some fluidity,” said
Diego Costa headed home a Thiago Alcantara corner on 51 minutes.
Refaelov gave the visitors something to cheer with a left-foot effort on 76 minutes, just moments after Rami Gershon had struck the post with a header.
But Iago Aspas teed up Isco to put the gloss on a comfortable win two minutes from time.
“I am very happy with my goal, but the victory is the most important thing,” said Silva. “We needed to win to stay ahead of the rest.”
In the other group game,
Captain Seamus Coleman suffered a broken leg as the
Neil Taylor was shown a straight red card for the scything challenge that left Irish defender Coleman clutching his shattered lower leg and screaming in pain as Shane Long tried to comfort him.
“It’s been confirmed by our doctor that he’s broken his leg,” said
It was a costly game for
Nika Kacharava gave the hosts a fifth-minute lead, but Dusan Tadic equalised from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime.
Aleksandar Mitrovic gave
Bjorn Sigurdarson gave the visitors a 25th minute lead before Gylfi Sigurdsson doubled the advantage from the spot 10 minutes later after Benjamin Kololli had brought down Birkir Saevarsson.
But seven minutes into the second period Atdhe Nuhiu headed home a Herolind Shala corner to give Kosovo a lifeline – although it wasn’t enough.
A brace from Cenk Tosun kept