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Well, that was quite incredible. Italy worthy winners on the night, with Mario Balotelli their two-goal hero. Let me know your thoughts on this amazing game on Twitter @tony_mabert.
Neuer chrages up for one final free-kick by the halfway line, but Germany play it short! by the time it's sent into the box the final whistle has been blown! ITALY ARE THROUGH TO THE FINAL!!
Neuer is now stationed in the centre circle as Germany lay siege to the Italy goal. Hummels is booked for a barge on Barzagli and Italy can breathe again.
GOAL!! Ozil only takes a one-step run-up, but his penalty is good enough to fly out of the diving Buffon's reach! They can't, can they?
PENALTY!! Balzaretti handles inside the box under pressure from Klose! Is this a lifeline for Germany? Ozil to take it...
We are in the first of four minutes of added time.
Neuer comes up for a Germany corner, but he is soon running back to his own goal after a shot flies wide of Buffon's goal.
Motta now goes into the book, but he won't mind one jot. Only injury time stands between Italy and the final now.
Reaching the final is made all the more remarkable for Italy when taking into account that they finished bottom of their group at the last World Cup below Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand.
Quick one-two inside the Italy box and Reus has the ball right in front of goal... Another excellent tackle from Balzaretti! He punches the air in delight at his great piece of defence!
De Rossi is booked for a foul. It's his second yellow card of the tournament, but the first was struck off after the quarter-finals so no worries of a suspension for him.
Schweinsteiger's cross is headed away by Bonucci and in the blink of an eye Di Natale is clean through on goal! The veteran striker trundles forward and just as two despairing Germans dive in he shoots into the side netting!
First Diamanti and now Di Natale slip over when released down the right channel. That area of the pitch looks very chooped up now.
Lovely pass from Pirlo to send De Rossi away down the left. The midfielder hooks the ball into the box but Neuer intercepts.
Great tackle from De Rossi as Mueller was preparing to surge into the Italy box.
Hummels heads wide from the corner. He looks wholly disappointed with himself as he trots back to his own half.
Mueller wins a corner for Germany. Every set piece that is not converted now will start to sap the belief from the German team.
Marchisio twists and turns to leave Badstuber flat on his back before firing his low strike inches wide of the far post! Di Natale was screaming for the square pass but Marchisio went for glory.
Neuer is closed down as he tries to make a clearance and he is rattled into making an error! He recovered just about to boot the ball out for a throw-in.
Both teams have now used all three of their substitutions.
Germany substitution: Thomas Mueller repalces Boateng.
Italy substitution: Antonio Di Natale replaces Balotelli.
Germany put the ball out of play so that Balotelli can receive some treatment. That has not gone down well with the Germany fans in the crowd.
Diamanti and Marchisio exchange incisive passes and the Juventus midfielder fires wide! That would have surely been curtains for Germany!
Diamanti tries to pick out Balotelli with a long pass, but when he can;t he tries to catch Neuer off his guard with an effort on goal. it's an easy catch for the keeper in the end.
Italy substitution: Thiago Motta replaces Montolivo.
It will be Reus to strike. Plenty of dip and bend on it as it head for the top corner, but Buffon saves well!
Bonucci goes into the referee's book for a foul on Kroos. The free-kick is in a central are, about 25 yards from goal. Schweinsteiger, Ozil and Reus all fancy taking this.
Balotelli has the ball on the corner of the Germany area and he has only one intention. He hits a curling low strike that swngs away from the far post.
Ozil linking up well with Boateng again down the right. The Bayern full-back's cross is over the heads of everyone chasing into the box, but that flank looks like a good source of chances for Germany.
Italy substitution: Alessandro Diamanti replaces Cassano.
Klose charges into the area but it's a well-times tackle from Bonucci that means Italy have only conceded a corner and not a goal.
Searing run from Ozil to the byline and he pulls the ball back for Khedira, whose momentum just takes him in front of the ball and he can't work a chance.
Reus's cross is blocked but it runs to Klose with his back to goal. The veteran striker goes down, but only muted appeals and play continues.
In the quarter-final match against Greece, Klose scored his 64th goal in his 120th cap for Germany and he is now just four strikes away from Gerd Mueller’s record of 68 goals for the Mannschaft.
Great start to the second half from Germany. They are attacking with real purpose early in this second half.
Reus's pass for Kroos on the edge of the box runs behind him to another Bayern man, Lahm. The Germany skipper plays a one-two with Kroos and sends his sidefooted effort from the edge of the box over the bar!
Reus makes an impact early in the second half, showing good feet to create a chance for himself in the box but his low strike is an easy one for Buffon.
Germany substitutions: Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus were introduced at half-time for Gomez and Podolski.
The second half is underway! What can Germany do to turn this around?
Nigel Tolentino: "After all those misses, the law of averages owed him a couple of goals. Superb! Balotelli should stay hungry"
Shaun Moran : "Tony are you aware of the last time Italy lost a match in a major tournament after leading at half time?" - I am now!
Alex Kovalev: "Balotelli rocks tonight and he well deserved this show.Its maybe his star hour tonight.And all will be influential on his future."
Let me know your half-time thoughts by getting in touch via Twitter @tony_mabert.
Half-time is signalled, and Germany go into the break two goals down. Not many would have predicted that before kick-off, but Balotelli's brace has got Italy dreaming of a place in the final.
Germany win a corner, but Claudio Marchisio heads it clear as the first defender.
Lahm plays the give-and-go down the left. He gets the ball back and crosses it, but Buffon comfortably claims it.
Cassaano leaves the field on his feet, and will rejoin play shortly. Germany's players must be fearing what Joachim Loew is going to say at half-time.
Badstuber kicks the ball out play as Cassano is on the floor writhing around in pain.
By scoring tonight, Balotelli becomes the first Italian ever to score in the semi-finals of a European Championship. by scoring his second, he is now Italy's joint-highest all-time scorer at Euros with three, level with Cassano.
Podolski's control lets him down inside the Italy box. He waited for the ball to come to him but he let it go out of play for a goal kick. Germany look rattled.
Balotelli celebrates his second goal of the game by whiiping his shirt off and striking a pose. that's a booking for the striker. Not that he'll care.
GOAL!! Balotelli is onside as he chases a after a long clearance from the Italy half. He controls well and fires an unerring strike right into the top corner from the edge of the box! Fantastic strike!
The ball sits up well enough for Khedira to try his luck from range, and he hits a solid strike on target that buffon saves well!
Italy defend the corner and soon they are on the attack. Lovely control from Cassano and he slips the ball into the box for Montolivo, who tries to turn but is halted by Badstuber. Why didn;t he hit it on the turn?
Ozil sends Boateng scampering away down the right. He skips the challenge of Chiellini before sending in a lovely cross for Podolski that Balzaretti just reaches before him! Corner to Germany.
Balotelli teases Badstuber as he shields the ball from him before being hauled down by his shirt. A great performance from the Manchester City striker so far.
Boateng concedes a free-kick for a foul on Balotelli, though it's difficult to know what the referee saw there.
Kroos now has a pop from range himself, but his shot is always swinging away from goal and wide.
Lovely gliding run forward from Ozil before he picks out Kroos. The midfielder tries to feed his Bayern Munich team-mate Goemz with a reverse pass, but it deflects off an Italy player and out of the striker's reach.
Great strength from Gomez to hold the ball up and tee up Mesut Ozil for a strike from 20 yards, but the Germany playmaker tries to pass it into the net and Buffon gets down to make the save.
This may be an appropriate time to remind you that Germany have never beaten Italy in a competitive game in seven previous attempts.
Gomez steals half a yard off his marker but is unable to glance his header on target. Good response from Germany.
This is the first time Germany have been behind in a competitive game since the third-place play-off match against Uruguay at the last World Cup! They went 2-1 down, but came back to win 3-2.
A very rare sight here - Balotelli has a beaming smile and looks ecstatic in his celebration! such a marked change from his usual blank expression, but you can see why. That's a huge goal, only his third for his country.
GOAL!! Great work from Cassano as he wriggles between two German players on the left before his chipped cross is headed past Neuer by Balotelli!
Germany’s last seven goals at Euro 2012 have been scored by seven different players, while no Italian player has scored more than one.
Cassano with a good curling effort from 20 yards that Neuer sees all the way and catches with two hands. The game is really starting to open up now.
The half-German Montolivo shifts to the right of the all-German Schweinsteiger and shoots from the edge of the box. The effort bounces up in front of Neuer, who makes a good save.
A slick turn from Jerome Boateng in his own half helps Germany win possession back.
Kroos cuts in from the right, works half a yard off Montolivo and has a pop from range that Buffon beats away two-handed.
Balotelli draws a foul from Hummels, who concedes a free-kick for the first time in this tournament!
Italy defend Germany's short corner well enough, but that was another nervy moment early on for the Azzurri.
Khedira was an incisive run forward before laying it off to Toni Kroos out wide. The low cross comes in and Buffon spills it! The ball bounces off Andrea Barzagli and trickles just wide of the post!
Sami Khedira tries to float a ball into the box that goes all the way through to Buffon. Worring sign for Italy as De Rossi takes a few seconds to get back to his feet following a challenge. The Roma midfielder was an injury doubt before the game with a back problem.
Great tackle on Balotelli from Hummels. The Borussia Dortmund defender has been one of Germany's top performers in this tournament.
Played inside by Cassano and the ball comes to Pirlo. The midfielder tries to deceive Badstuber with a drop of the shoulder but the centre-back blocks the shot.
Daniele De Rossi is fouled by Podolski in the centre circle. Italy play it short to get it to Pirlo's feet.
Lukas Podolski goes on a rampaging run down the left channel. He slaloms through two blue shirts but Balzaretti is one man too many.
Schweinsteiger swings the corner in and it comes to Mats Hummels on the edge of the six-yard box. He guides it past Buffon and Pirlo blocks it on the line! Buffon gathers the loose ball gratefully!
Federico Balzaretti charges into Schweinsteiger with a solid challenge that yields the first corner of the match for Germany.
A through ball is slipped forward for Balotelli, but Manuel Neuer is quick off his line to gather the pass.
Balotelli chases after a ball over the top and is judged to have shoved Holger Badstuber in the back as he did so.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is screaming for the ball from the edge of the box, but Lahm chooses to cross to Mario Gomez instead and the ball sails over the striker's head.
Italy mentally-unhinged front pairing of Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli get us underway!
Two of Europe's best national anthems have been belted out with typical gusto, before Buffon and Lahm each read out a message of support for UEFA's Respect Diversity campaign. all very worthy, of course, but all inside the Stadion Narodowy are glad to see the players finally shake hands and get ready for kick-off.
The players are walking out on to the field now, led out by captains Philipp Lahm and Gianluigi Buffon. The referee for this one Stephane Lannoy, and all of his team of officials are compatriots except for fourth official Howard Webb.
Cesare Prandelli: "When I close my eyes and dream, I always dream of fantastic things. I will dream about a wonderful, fantastic evening. We're all fit both mentally and physically. I don't think we can have any negative thoughts. We can't think we're even a little bit tired. All the ingredients are there to make sure we feel as we did a few days ago. We're ready to be pressed high up the pitch and know what we have to do to counteract this."
Joachim Loew: "Pirlo is an exceptional player, with good ideas. He's the one who directs the game, so we have to stop him and get in his radius. We have to think of a way to play better than Italy in midfield and dictate the tempo of the match. We will not let Italy show us how to play football. It's a confidence thing. We have to be cheeky, we have to be strong and brave. I know it will be very tight. We are well prepared, we know our strengths and we're in a position to make the final."
Tonight's semi-final between Germany and Italy sees two of Euro 2012's star men go head-to-head. Andrea Pirlo's enduring quality has been a constant theme this tournament, and the 33-year-old's passing from a deep-lying midfield position cut England to ribbons in the quarter-finals. Mesut Ozil operates higher up the pitch than the Italian, but is no less important as the creative fulcrum of an impressive German side.
Italy have failed to make it to the finals only in two of the 10 semi-final games they’ve played at major tournaments (a 0-2 loss v USSR at Euro 1988, and a 3-4 defeat on penalties v Argentina at the 1990 World Cup, after a 1-1 draw). They have fired over the most accurate crosses from open play so far at Euro 2012 (17). Six of their last seven goals at the Euros have come from set-pieces, whereas 11 of Germany’s last 12 have come from open play.
Germany have played in a semi-final in a major competition 17 times so far, making it to the final on 11 occasions. They are the only side to have won each of their four games at Euro 2012. They have now won their last 15 competitive games – an all-time record in DFB history. The Germans have scored in each of their last 20 games (51 goals in total).
You can share your thoughts on the latest instalment of one of Europe's great fixtures with me via Twitter @tony_mabert. Will Germany finally break the hex Italy have had over them at tournaments, or will the Azzurri prevail and deny us all a rematch of the 2008 final?
Those victories have all been in classic encounters. There was the 1970 World Cup semi-final, won 4-3 in extra time, that was dubbed 'Game of the Century'. Then there was the World Cup final of 1982 that featured Marco Tardelli's iconic, tearful goal celebration. The most recent competitive clash came in Dortmund in the 2006 World Cup semi, won deep in extra time by goals from Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero. Will we get another belter tonight?
What is quite incredible is that Germany have never beaten Italy in a compeitive game. In seven meetings that mattered, the Azzurri have won three and drawn four including two games played at the Euros (in 1988, 1-1 and 1996, 0-0). It's reassuring the know that even a nation as mighty as Germany has a bogey team, isn't it?
This is a true clash of European heavyweights. Between them, Germany and Italy have 11 major titles. Germany - including West Germany - have three World Cups and three European championships to their name. Italy can bost four World Cups and one European title in their glorious history.
Italy have been boosted by the news that Giorgio Chiellini has recovered from a thigh injury to return to the defence, while Federico Balzaretti is at right-back in place of the injured Ignazio Abate and the suspended Christian Maggio. Daniele De Rossi has also shaken off an injury doubt to start in the midfield, where Riccardo Montolivo retains his place ahead of the returning Thiago Motta.
Germany's central midfield dynamo Bastian Schweinsteiger has been declared fit despite a nagging ankle injury. Manager Joachim Loew restores striker Mario Gomez and wide forward Lukas Podolski after both were rested for the quarter-final against Greece, but Thomas Mueller remains on the bench as Toni Kroos is handed his first start of the tournament.
Germany: Manuel Neuer; Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira; Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski; Mario Gomez /// Italy: Gianluigi Buffon; Federico Balzaretti, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Andrea Pirlo; Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo, Daniele De Rossi; Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano.
Good evening and welcome to live text coverage of the second semi-final of Euro 2012 between Germany and Italy in Warsaw.
|09/02/2011||Germany||1 - 1||Italy|
|04/07/2006||Italy||2 - 0||Germany|
|01/03/2006||Italy||4 - 1||Germany|
|20/08/2003||Italy||1 - 0||Germany|
|19/06/1996||Italy||0 - 0||Germany|
|Germany||4 - 2||Greece|
|Germany||2 - 1||Denmark|
|Germany||2 - 1||Netherlands|
|Germany||1 - 0||Portugal|
|Germany||2 - 0||Israel|
|Italy||0 - 0||England|
|Italy||2 - 0||Republic of Ireland|
|Italy||1 - 1||Croatia|
|Spain||1 - 1||Italy|
|Russia||3 - 0||Italy|