Li Tie has been appointed as the new coach of China's national team, the Chinese Football Association has confirmed.

He replaces Marcello Lippi after the veteran Italian quit last November following a defeat to Syria in World Cup qualifying.

Lippi's second spell lasted just six months and Li will now be charged with leading China towards Qatar 2022.

His first match in charge will be against the Maldives on March 25 with China lagging eight points behind Group A leaders Syria, although they have a game in hand.

Li was part of the China squad that qualified for the 2002 World Cup, their only appearance at the tournament to date.

As a player, he featured for Everton in the Premier League and was in caretaker charge of China at December's EAFF E-1 Football Championship, where they lost two of their three games.

Title challengers Inter are capable of keeping pace with Juventus throughout the entire Serie A season, according to Marcello Lippi.

Antonio Conte's men notched up a fourth successive league win with a routine 3-0 triumph at Torino on Saturday.

Goals from Lautaro Martinez, Stefan de Vrij and Romelu Lukaku kept the pressure on champions Juve, who remain a point ahead after a 3-1 win over Atalanta.

Some have suggested strength in depth will enable the leaders to pull clear as the season progresses, but Lippi expects the title race to go down to the wire.

"It is very beautiful and it certainly made the start of the season very interesting," the ex-Italy head coach told Corriere dello Sport.

"I really think it can last until the end. In August I thought that it would be a three-way fight for the title, but Napoli will struggle to get back into the race.

"[Carlo] Ancelotti is a very good coach and I am convinced that he will improve the team. However, even if he drives them out of the difficult moment he is going through, he has accumulated too much distance to the top.

"The championship will be more uncertain than in recent years and this is good for our football."

Inter's only domestic defeat this term came at the hands of Juve in October.

Lippi praised Bianconeri boss Maurizio Sarri for adapting well to the job he inherited from Massimiliano Allegri.

He said: "The change of coach could have negatively affected and created difficulties if Sarri had not been intelligent, but Maurizio is intelligent.

"He has already managed to implement some of his ideas without lowering the performance that Juve had with Conte first and then with Allegri."

Marcello Lippi has resigned as China head coach after taking responsibility for a 2022 World Cup qualifying defeat to Syria.

China remain in the hunt for the third round of AFC qualification, having thrashed Guam and the Maldives while drawing with Philippines, but they were beaten 2-1 by Group A leaders Syria on Thursday.

Zhang Linpeng scored an own goal 14 minutes from time to settle the match, leaving Lippi dismayed by both the result and the performance, swiftly announcing his departure.

"I don't want to talk about this game," he told a news conference.

"A team should give everything on the pitch. The tactics of the head coach should be carried out. If the player is afraid of losing the game, then there is no fighting spirit, desire, guts.

"It is my responsibility, the head coach's responsibility – although we defeated Guam and the Maldives. But the team we played against today is better, more coordinated and more organised than us. 

"My annual salary is very high, and I am fully responsible for this loss. Now I declare that I have officially resigned."

Veteran coach Lippi, who guided Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, had only been appointed China boss for a second time in May.

Lippi was coach from October 2016 to January 2019, before returning when replacement Fabio Cannavaro ​– his World Cup-winning captain – promptly left.

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