Euro 2012 live

Euro 2012 live

IT Thu, Jun 28

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  • 18:58
    Hello and welcome to our live blog of the second Euro 2012 semi-final. Germany and Italy are all set to duke it out in Warsaw to find out who is worthy of a place in the final against boring, one dimensional Spain*.

    *Spain are neither boring, nor one-dimensional in the eyes of any sane person
  • 19:07

    The teams are in, by the way, and they look something like this. Exactly like that, actually.

    No surprises really, unless, of course, you predicted Diamanti would start up front for Italy instead of Mario Balotelli, or you were foolish enough to think Thomas Muller would start for Germany and not Toni Kroos.

    Anywhooooo, that Kroos decision is an interesting one, the lads on the panel are suprised too, but reckon the formation of 4-2-3-1 will remain with Kroos on the right where Muller would usually hang out.

  • 19:10
    By 'the lads', I mean the royalty of punditry that is the RTE panel. Liam Brady thinks Italy will go three at the back, despite the graphic on the screen indicating otherwise. They have done that in this tournament, most notably against Spain in the opening game, but not with these exact personnel on the pitch if I'm not mistaken. We'll see.
  • 19:12

    Do give us your opinions on the line-ups, the game, the decisions, the panel, Obamacare or flash-fooding. Really, it's an open house. There's a comment box below or indeed you can use tweet us to your thoughts via the wonders of social media: @carlomalley

  • 19:13
    "It promises to be a great semi-final."

    That's what you said last night, Bill.
  • 19:16
    Dunphy reckons Gomez will have a "barren night" against Giorgio Chiellini.
  • 19:26
    It was a "great" game the last time these two sides met in a semi-final. Here's a reminder what happened in Germany 2006.

    If anyone at Off The Ball tells you I spotted this on their Facebook page, they're bare-faced liars. Can't trust'em.
  • 19:26
  • 19:27
    seanstledger12 via Twitter friend!!! #inbetweeners
  • 19:32
    Gilesy is explaining what is actually good about Andrea Pirlo. "It's called vision".

    Now Dunphy on Balotelli. "He does silly things, he's moody."

    "He set fire to his own bedroom in Manchester... and he goes around Manchester handing out thousands of pounds."

  • 19:43

    That's the anthems out of the way. The Italians, in particular, got stuck in. #upforit

  • 19:45
    seanstledger12 via Twitter “@reddave1985: @seanstledger12 massive respect for Buffon leadin the Italian players down to our end in Poznan after the game.”totally agree
  • 19:45

    A lot of love for Buffon coming from Ireland defender Sean St Ledger.

  • 19:47
    carlomalley via Twitter RT @MiguelDelaney: Italy lining up with four at the back at the start. Mightn't mean much of course.
  • 19:53
    It's been a lively start from both teams and Pirlo clears one off the line from Hummels. Vision.
  • 19:58
    Into the 10th minute and it's end to end stuff without anyone coming closer than Hummels. Mesut Ozil looks lively. Italy still playing with four at the back. think they'd be asking for trouble were they to risk three against this German side.
  • 20:02

    Buffon looks a little wobbly and Germany very nearly concede an own goal after the keeper palms a low cross into the path of one of his defenders. Germany controlling th tempo this last few minutes. Unusual territory for an Italy team that has played Ireland and England on the way to this stage.

  • 20:03
    Joey7Barton via Twitter Toni Kroos is the man marker. Not sure he will have the discipline to stifle the old master. Gonna be an interesting encounter this...
  • 20:06
    Montilivo, after good work from Cassano, gets his shot on target but Neuer saves well. Then Cassano tests the German keeper but again he's equal too it.
  • 20:07
  • 20:09
    20 minutes gone  and that man Balotelli heads home from Cassano's cross after Hummels was rolled by the Italian on the right wing. Poor defending, great header from Mario but it would have been hard to miss given the cross and the position he found himself in at the near post.

    That shuffling you hear is Dunphy shifting nervously in his seat
  • 20:10
    Badstuber was beaten in the air by Balotelli but I'm not sure what he could have done about it after Cassano found his way beyond threee of his teammates.
  • 20:11
    OptaJoe via Twitter 21 - There have now been 21 headed goals at Euro 2012, 30% of the total goals scored (compared to 19% in 2008). Nod.
  • 20:12
    Read into that what you will. I'm choosing to read nothing into it.
  • 20:14
    Cassano's the pick of the bunch for Italy thus far. He's a constant threat, moving across the pitch to either flank. He's looked dangerous througout the tournament, especially up against Stephen Ward.
  • 20:17
    Interesting nugget of info from George Hamilton there. Montilivo's mum is a Hamburger. Well, I never...
  • 20:19
    Half an hour gone now and after a fairly lively start, Germany look a little rattled. they're one down and not looking as fluid as they have in previous games. ray Houghton reckons it's Toni Kroos's fault.
  • 20:21
    Jerome Boateng gets to the byline on the overlap and his cross is lifted behind for a corner before Podolski can get on the end of it. Good move by the Germans.
  • 20:23
    But at the other end Cassano picks out Montolivo after a stunning ball from Balotelli, but the Italian is crowded.

    Germany respond through Sami Khedira and Buffon puts it out for a corner. Great save.
  • 20:25
    36 min:  There's only one Super Mario, and it's not Gomez. Ho ho.

    Balotelli has latched on to a ball over the top and doubled Italy's lead with a rocket of shot from 18 yards. Straight into the top corner.

    Dunphy, we're told, has actually slid under the desk in disbelief.
  • 20:27
    101greatgoals via Twitter 1-0 Italy. Mario Balotelli v Germany
  • 20:28

    Balotelli was booked after that goal for taking of his shirt and flexin', so he might get sent off yet. Not before his hat-trick, mind.

  • 20:30
    A Spain-Italy final will, of course, be music to the ears and a La Scala performance to the eyes of Giovanni Trapattoni, who will no doubt labour the point that the two finalists came from our group.

    Meh, I would too.
  • 20:31

    Ray Houghton reflecting on Montolivo's "straight ball down the middle" for Balotelli's goal, as he looks at a replay of the Italian's diagonal cross-field pass from the touchline.

  • 20:32
    I'm not sure I can publish that, Dave. Try again.
  • 20:34
    One minute to halftime and the Germans are openly weeping in the stands.  It's happening again!
  • 20:36
    101greatgoals via Twitter GIF: Mario Balotelli second goal v Germany
  • 20:37
    GTCost via Twitter I forgive Balotelli EVERYTHING! Even Italian Government debt! #euro2012
  • 20:40
    Dunphy is back in his seat and giving Hummels both barrels for his role in the first goal. Fair enough.

    Brady wonders why Podolski is back playing offside for the second. Fair enough, again.

    "Pirlo has been absolutely majestic," he adds. "He's running the show with a cigar", or words to that effect.
  • 20:50
    We're back and Miroslav Klose is on for Gomez and Marco Reus comes on to the right for Podolski.
  • 20:52
    Reus shows his skill early on but his shot is tame in the end.
  • 20:53
  • 20:54
    An awful blunder from Lahm in the Italian box after he did all the good work with a one-two with Reus. He sidefoots it over the bar from 15 yards when it looked easier to hit the target. Could be a big miss from the German captain.
  • 20:55
    Reus is making a big difference on the right wing. If Germany can manufacture a goal early in this half, it's game on.
  • 21:00
    Ozil beats de Rossi to the line and cuts it back for Khedira but the German is smotehred by the Italian cover before he can get a shot away.  Much better from Germany.

    Bonucci then gets a toe on the ball to concede a corner after Klose burst past him into the box.
  • 21:01
    Prandelli has reacted to this already and is about to bring Diamanti into the fray. Diamanti scored the winning penalty against England in the quarters and put in a really good shift on the pitch too.

    He replaces Cassano.
  • 21:04
    bartvanmerwijk via Twitter 'When I score I don't celebrate. I just do my work. When the postman delivers your letters, does he celebrate?' #balotelli #EK2012 #duiita
  • 21:05
    60 min: Bonucci gets a chink of Klose this time and it's a free in for Germany. Just over 20 yards out, central, Schweinsteiger territory?
  • 21:06
    NO, it's Reus and a brilliant save from Buffon, who touches it on to the crossbar and out for a corner. Italy clear the danger
  • 21:07
    He should save it, according to Ray. It wasn't right in the corner but it was a great strike and it was a very good save.
  • 21:07
    101greatgoals via Twitter Up there with the "Why Always Me?" celebration. Video: Mario Balotelli celebration after second goal v Germany
  • 21:12

    Claudio Marchisio fires one just wide after scampering through the middle. He could have had them out of sight but missed the target trying to do a Mario.

  • 21:14

    Approaching 70 minutes gone now and Balotelli is being replaced by Antonio Di Natale after tweaking his hamstring, it seems.

  • 21:14
    He looks okay though and has, of course, avoided a second yellow card, meaning he will be around for the final against Spain on Sunday, should Italy hold out the Germans.
  • 21:17
    Muller is on now for Boateng. It looks like three at the back for Germany now, wtih Muller operating on hte right and Reus moving inside
  • 21:18
    themcginn via Twitter Right, they say you never can but I just have.
  • 21:20
    Amazing stretch from Klose to get to Khedira's deep cross but Reus is beaten to the ball by Buffon.

    Marchisio is through at the other end after a slip by Badstuber but his shot is dragged wide. He had Di Natale inside, Hamilton points out. He was offside, Houghton points out.
  • 21:21
    14 minutes left

    Germany need something soon. Might it come with this corner?
  • 21:21
    Nope, Hummels heads over.
  • 21:23
    If anyone's going to get one, it's Italy. this three at the back lark for Germany is looking very shaky.
  • 21:24
    Balotelli might have had five by now, which he is no doubt telling eveyone on the bench at the moment.
  • 21:26
    9 minutes left, and Italy have again wasted a numerical advantage at the back, mainly because Di Natale couldn't keep his feet. But htere is a goal there for him...

    and here it is?
  • 21:27

    No, the striker beat the offside trap, sort of, but shoots into the side netting. Then Balzaretti has it in the net but he IS ruled offside.

  • 21:30
    A succession of corners now for Germany but Buffon and co deal with it all fairly comfortably.

    Balzaretti then arrives out of nowhere to deny Reus as he lined one up from close range.
  • 21:31

    "Peerless Pirlo," says George.

    Can we all stop saying that please?

  • 21:32
    88th minute and Germany are no closer to a breakthrough.
  • 21:35

    Khedira is denied by Bonucci and Buffon after a knockdown at he backpost from Klose. Italy have defended brilliantly in the last 20 minutes.

  • 21:36
    Or have they?

    Balzaretti has handled the ball and Germany have a peno. Ozil is over it.
  • 21:36

    Ozil  scores for Germany and the closing seconds here could be interesting.
  • 21:37
    They have two minutes.

    Balotelli's heads is covered with his training top on the bench.

    Neuer is in the Italian half headeing the ball back towards the Italian box.
  • 21:38
    30 seconds left
  • 21:39
    A free in for Germany from deep. Neuer is up but there's no time. Italy are in the final and Balotelli pumps a fist on the sideline. Thoroughly deserved win for the Azzurri. The Germans didn't show up, really, and Prandelli's men took their chances, for once.
  • 21:41
    101greatgoals via Twitter Mesut Ozil penalty v Italy
  • 22:08
    A match report will appear here, presently, while we'll have Emmet Malone's infintely better match report soon after 12, plus reaction from the two camps and lots more.

    Thanks for reading, folks. It's been emotional.