Italy Outclasses The Germans To Join Spain In Euro 2012 Final

Gallery Icon

bill-swift - June 29, 2012

Mario Balotelli, take a bow. You've been labelled a liability, a moron and sometimes even a footballer, now you can be called a genius. Hardly anybody believed that the Italians would be able to beat the almighty Germans tonight, but somehow they summoned up all of their strength and not only defeated the 3-time European Champions, but utterly outclassed them too.

As with their defeat of England, Andrea Pirlo dictated play from his deep midfield position. But it would be a great injustice not to salute his fellow midfield warriors in the shape of Danielle De Rossi, Claudio Marchisio and Riccardo Montolivo, each of whom stifled and pounced on any German player in their vicinity.

Despite a shaky start from their usually stalwart goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Italy took the lead through a Mario Balotelli header from an Antonio Cassano cross in the 20th minute. Germany were shell shocked (Too soon?) and Italy looked like the team most likely to get the second goal of the game, which they did on the 36th minute.

A German corner was cleared and Montolivo delivered a defence splitting pass that took out three defenders and Super Mario was able to control his half vollied shot and drive it into the roof of the net from the edge of the area with Manuel Neur already diving to his right.

Germany were expected to launch into action in the second half but Italy defended resolutely and created around half a dozen clear cut, one on one chances to finish off the game, none of which they took. Deep into stoppage time though, Joachim Low's men were awarded a penalty for a handball from Federico Balzaretti that Mesut Ozil converted but it was too little too late.

Italy will now play Spain in Sunday's final which will be a repeat of their opening Group C encounter that ended 1-1. Many football fans had written off Cesare Prandelli's men and it would be an unbelievable upset if they could defeat the current World and European champions in Kiev.

But they love being the underdogs and they wouldn't want it any other way.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved for writing and editorial content. No rights or credit claimed for any images featured on unless stated. If you own rights to any of the images because YOU ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHER and do not wish them to appear here, please contact us info(@) and they will be promptly removed. If you are a representative of the photographer, provide signed documentation in your query that you are acting on that individual's legal copyright holder status.