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Italy Beat Germany 2-1
Italy beat Germany 2-1 last night in the European Championship semi final to clinch a place in the final against Spain on Sunday.
Italy went into this game never having lost to Germany in any tournament match in 7 previous attempts and this fantastic record now increases to 8.
Germany had a couple of early chances in the game when Italy’s usually brilliant goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon seemed to lose sight of the ball but no German player was able to score.
Italy then started to dictate a lot of the play and their midfielders were making great use of the ball. Montilivo,Marchisio and especially Pirlo were making great passes and not letting Germany settle.
Italy took the lead in the 20th minute through a powerful header from Mario Balotelli following great build up play down the left wing and Germany seemed shell shocked. They won every game to qualify for the tournament and had won all of their 4 previous games in the actual tournament so far.
After coming close in the previous 3 major tournaments and playing great football dating back to the World Cup of 2006 this seemed as if it was going to be their time and they would be ready to win a tournament again.
Germany tried to react and tried to conjure up some scoring chances but in what was an open attacking game they were unable to really trouble the Italian defence.
Before half time Italy scored again. Another goal from Balotelli. This time he raced away from the German defence and hit a rasping right foot shot from the edge of the penalty box which soared high into the net.
It was half time with Italy 2-0 up. Germany would surely need to change things at halftime. They made a couple of substitutions right at the start of the 2nd half bringing on Klose and Reus for Gomez and Podolski and went about trying to score an early goal to pull themselves back into the game. It was really only a brief flurry of activity near the Italian goal and then Italy started getting a lot more possession and created a few chances of their own. Di Natale and Marchisio had chances to score a third but couldn’t take them. But Pirlo was dictating play to extraordinary lengths and nobody seemed to get near him as he kept possession and kept making really telling passes.
Germany did get back into the game in injury time. There was still about 3 minutes of the 4 minutes injury time to go when Germany were given a penalty. Mesut Ozil scored and Germany tried to conjure up a late late equaliser and were sending up goalkeeper Manuel Neuer when they had a free kick but it was to no avail and they never really created anything else to really panic Italy.
The final whistle went and Italy celebrated a great victory while Germany seemed to be in a state of shock and disbelief not really understanding how they were out.
Now Italy must prepare for the final on Sunday evening against the current European and World champions Spain.
What will happen in this game? Will Spain win this tournament for the 2nd time in a row and 3rd in total or can Italy lift the trophy and claim their 2nd and the first since 1968.
- Euro 2012 Semi Final - Italy 2-1 Germany
Euro 2012 Semi Final - Italy 2-1 Germany - Mario Balotelli is the star performer for Italy as Germany pay for price for a poor tactical display.
- European Championship Semi Finals
A preview of the semi finals of Euro 2012 involving Spain v Portugal and Italy v Germany