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Euro 2012

Germany vs Italy, Euro 2012 Semi-Final: Open Thread

Germany vs Italy 2:45pm ET
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Germany plays Italy today in the Euro 2012 semi-final, in a very highly anticipated game that will hopefully be much more exciting than yesterday’s snoozefest (apart from the exciting penalty kick shootout).

Good news for Italy. Chiellini is back, and will be playing as a left back for Italia.

Italy team: Buffon, Balzaretti, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio, Montolivo, Cassano, Balotelli

Germany team: Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Kroos, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez.

Before, during or after today’s match, post your rants, raves, questions or observations in the comments section below. Join in the conversation.

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  1. scrumper

    June 29, 2012 at 8:34 am

    As I said in a different thread, the Germans have an innate fear of precedent. The look of indignation on the German supporters faces after the second went in was priceless!

    Ballotelli – the man who made Germany cry.

  2. Dust

    June 29, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I thought this was a great summary.

    Jurgen Klinsmann
    Match of the Day analyst
    “The future for Germany lies within that team, but tonight you could clearly see they hit the wall. They were outplayed by Italy in the first half and Italy produced a magnificent display in the second half. Italy get all the credit tonight, they were deserved winners. As a whole team Germany couldn’t match up with Italy, they lost all the battles in midfield. They couldn’t control Pirlo, they couldn’t control Montolivo, they couldn’t control De Rossi. And on nights like this you need a star and tonight Balotelli was that man.”

  3. BA14

    June 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    very entertaining match Now Italy go out and beat that powderpuff Spanish team in the final.

  4. Matt

    June 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    refreshing to see an actual game of football being played, I shudder to think what England would have done in this semi.

    Congrats to Italy, well deserved

    • Dust

      June 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Sat back, taken body blow after body blow, never attacking making a clearly not a very good german team look like champs ulitmately loosing 2 nil. Is what I would expect.

  5. Dust

    June 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Aside from fernando torres, David Silva, Xavi Alonso, Balotelli, Mascherano. Are or have been in the EPL and those players aren’t very influential either :/

    With all due respect the more acurate statement / observation may be that 3 of the four strongest internationsl teams in the semis all have starting 11’s where 6-7 plus players all play on key roles for the same club team, barca for Spain, juventus for Italy and bsyern Munich for Germany.

    You could also argue that when England had the more essential positions filled by players from the same teams like man utd (Butt, Ince, Scholes, Beckham, Cole, Ferdinand) that they were also more effective at the international level, if not for some rotten luck with penalties or bogus decisions to disallow goals.

    As for the best players not going to the premier league thats absolute garbage.

  6. Justin B.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Paul, the best players in the world don’t usually go to the EPL. But Man City is changing that with the ability to pay very high wages to attract them.

  7. Paul

    June 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    You don’t have to play with “2 banks of 4(LOL)” to have a good defense.
    Italy played an expansive type of football this tournament and they are in the Finals. No Wingers. They have forwards players that are capable to play out wide though.

    Has anybody realize that so few Premier league players made it to the semis and were in the XI of the 4 teams?

  8. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Italy playing that way was beautiful, they ripped them apart so many times. But Spain will beat Italy, spain are just better, they beat a very good portugal, with hardly any rest. Spain get the extra day, its all going to catch up with them.

    Spain will exhaust them playing 4-6-0 for 60 mins and then bring on a striker and pounce. as long as Darke and “The Perm” don’t commentate it will be a great game!

  9. Alex Wolcott

    June 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Wow – very exciting match! We needed something like this after the last several. I thought Germany was the best fit for taking out Spain but who knows? Italians played a fantastic match today and Balotelli definitely is a streaky player looking like he’s going into a hot one.

    Time to fish out a sky blue 45 shirt from my closet to wear on Sunday!

  10. Ben

    June 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    That German team was overrated, I really hope Italy beat Spain in the Final.

    BTW I wanted to say thank you to EPL Talk for the coverage of Euro 2012, the only way I can follow it at work, I am going on vacation so see you guys for the start of the EPL season in mid-august, it’s been great here.

    Go Italia!

  11. Guy

    June 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Going to get some green, white and red for the final. 🙂

  12. J

    June 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Schweinsteiger has been very poor today. Germany needed a midfield today. Excellent defence by Italy.

  13. Guy

    June 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Italy still playing like they mean to score more. Credit to them.

  14. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    OMG!! seriously? LOL…the germans just look ragged! excellent!

  15. Alex Wolcott

    June 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    You Germans going to get 2 on Buffon in 10 minutes? I think Serie A got 20 on him in 38 games this year.

  16. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    10 minutes for 2 goals, no way…its over ;p

  17. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    thats 2 sitters he’s missed now. unreal

  18. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Haha, Ian Darke and “The Perm” are such a curse on games. I hope they don’t get the final, every time they commentate, teams that are normally great to watch turn to garbage. Keep them out!

  19. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    That 2nd goal from Balotelli was very difficult, see the slow mo the ball bounce was just unstable, such a good strike.

  20. Fog

    June 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Seems to me that Italy may have made Germany “An offer they couldn’t refuse…” Perhaps, a bribe?? Nah, not Italy… 🙂

  21. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    holly smokes! should be 3 or 4 nil. if italy had actually finished their chances against england it would have been even more a mauling…jeez italy!

  22. Alex Wolcott

    June 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Buffon with the save! There is an example as to why that guy is one of the best to have ever play the game.

  23. dust

    June 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    What a game, unreal, whole house freaking out, That is how you play football, that is how you strike the ball..just incredible. Germany have come out stronger, the difference for all the hodgson apologists to see. Attacking football from a defensively strong team without putting 10 men behind the ball.

    Italy really taking the germans apart!

    Love it….Buffon is a freak!

  24. Guy

    June 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    It will be interesting to see how Italy plays this 2nd half. How long before “Protect the lead,” becomes paramount?

    • Guy

      June 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Well, that takes care of that. 🙂

      • Guy

        June 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm

        But doesn’t take care of where I put my post. 😉

  25. Pete

    June 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    What are the odds he scores another, takes his shirt off, gets another yellow and gets sent off?

    That would sum Balotelli up

    • Guy

      June 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      I’m wondering if the coach takes him off before too long or leaves him on to possibly suffer the cosequences of his own behavior.

  26. jtm371

    June 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    if Balotelli could just learn to play he could become unstoppable to play against.leave the drama and you could become a legend.sad to see that much talent not used to its bad their is no way to have him play a match with the talent of an average player so he could she what a talent he has and maybe he would cherish it and not take it for granted.

    • dust

      June 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      You mean “learn to just play” not “just learn to play” right.

      • jtm371

        June 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

        brain fade thanks for correction

  27. Fog

    June 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Balotelli: “A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

  28. Pete

    June 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Balotelli must be annoying as hell for a manager, There are times when he doesn’t look interested, times when he looks lazy, times when he just throws his toys out of the pram, but when he wants to, he can be fantastic

    I would think a very frustrating player for a fan and a manager

  29. The Gaffer

    June 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    England’s 0-0 performance against Italy after 120 minutes (and their excellent defending) doesn’t seem so bad now, does it? 😉

    The Gaffer

    • Frill Artist

      June 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      English apologist.

      • The Gaffer

        June 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        Which nation do you support?

        The Gaffer

    • Pete

      June 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      I certainly think Germany would take pen’s right now

  30. Alex Wolcott

    June 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Mario Balotelli in a nutshell – he will spend several games frustrating the hell out of you with antics and lack of performance and then he will have a match where he just bombs in a couple of thunderbolts.

  31. brn442

    June 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    What a strike by Ballotelli — but now, one yellow card away from missing the final. Silly boy

    • Mufc77

      June 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Yes great Finnish but a stupid stupid STUPID yellow card to take, he’s now one bad tackle or bad call away from missing the final which would be a shame.

  32. brn442

    June 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Amen Gaffer – the game has opened up nicely – Best game of the Euros so far..

  33. J

    June 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Uuuum, maybe someone should mark Mario.

  34. Mufc77

    June 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Great header from balotelli, he took it well

    • J

      June 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Well done by Cassano as well. Germany looked dangerous for the fist ten but when Italy woke up, they really woke up!

  35. The Gaffer

    June 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    THANK YOU ITALY! Soccer fans thank you. Now we can have a game!

    The Gaffer

  36. J

    June 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Germany’s game to win if the close down Italy’s midfield

  37. Mufc77

    June 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I’m all for the “respect diversity campagin” but having players reading prepared statements prior to the game I’m not a fan of and I’m willing to bet the players arnnt big fans of it either

  38. Guy

    June 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Looking for a better end to this than to yesterday’s match. Somebody score…..please!

  39. Alex Wolcott

    June 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Well I for one am motivated primarily by hatred for Spain (hate watching their style of play, hate watching them win every time.)

    So even though my 3 favorite players in this match (Buffon, Pirlo, and Balotelli) are on the Italian side, I have to go with the Germans as the side most likely to knock off Spain.

    That is, of course, unless idiot Lalas comes out and talks about how much he loves Germany in the interim.

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