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Semifinal: FT Italy 2 – 1 Germany

Semifinal: FT Italy 2 – 1 Germany

Germany recall Lukas Podolski, Mario Gomez and Toni Kroos: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Kroos, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez.
Subs: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Klose, Muller, Bender, Mertesacker, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.

Italy recall Giorgio Chiellini, back from a thigh injury: Buffon, Balzaretti, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Pirlo, Marchisio, Montolivo, De Rossi, Balotelli, Cassano.
Subs: Sirigu, Ogbonna, Thiago Motta, Abate, Di Natale, Giaccherini, Borini, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.

At 20′, Cassano twists and turns magnificently down the left, escaping from Boateng and Khedira with one marvellous twiddle, then whipping a cross over the six-yard area, where Balotelli – having beaten Badstuber to the ball – powers home a header. That was top class. This is on! Germany 0 -1 Italy.

At 36′, Italy deal with the corner and stream upfield. Down the left, just inside his own half, Montolivo sprays a diagonal ball down the centre for Balotelli, who is suddenly clear, 40 yards out! He stomps towards the area, and whacks an unstoppable curling blooter past Neuer and into the postage stamp of the top-right corner. That was a stunning finish. He whips his shirt off to show his guns, and is booked, but doesn’t seem to care, much as you’d imagine. 2-0 for Italy.

At 90′, A ball played straight down the middle bounces onto the ground and up onto Balzaretti’s hand. he was under pressure from Klose. The ref points to the spot. Ozil steps up, and wastes no time in screaming a spot kick into the top right. Germany 1 – 2 Italy.

Italy were excellent, a much deserved victory in a very entertaining match. Playing like that, Spain will have an awful lot to think about on Sunday. They dance about and celebrate wildly, while Germany do that thousand-yard-stare thing.

 

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