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Germany vs Italy a few quick thoughts

  • Germany finally break their jinx that Italy have over them in major tournaments
  • As predicted by yours truly it took extra time and penalties but Joachim Low’s side move on to the Semi Finals where they will await the winner of tonight’s game between France and Iceland
  • Germany may have once again won on penalties but these weren’t a classic set of spot kicks
  • Germany didn’t quite show the ruthlessness that we would expect from the penalty spot but they were bailed out by the fact that Italy’s penalties were absolutely awful
  • With the first half not really amounting to too much and being described as a tactical masterclass you know that was a polite way to explain some what of a damp squib
  • But with both sides only conceding 1 goal between them prior to this match it was probably to be expected
  • The only thing of note in the first half was early substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger heading home but his effort being disallowed for push
  • After the first 45 minutes you really hoped that things would liven up after the break
  • And to be fair the game did come alive, well it couldn’t have been much more tame then the offering in the first half
  • It was the Germans who drew first blood
  • Mesut Ozil finishing off a well worked build-up with Mario Gomez and Jonas Hector to score at the near post in the 65th minute
  • Germany now had 25 minutes to see out and book a place in the semi finals
  • But a lapse in concentration from Jerome Boateng meant that Italy would be awarded a penalty with just 12 minutes to go
  • He needlessly handled in the box and Italy were given a gift wrapped opportunity to draw level
  • Leonardo Bonucci stepped up and slotted past Manuel Neuer
  • Considering this was Bonucci’s first ever success from the spot that was quite a ballsy decision to give him the task of taking the kick
  • That would mean the 90 minutes would end in a draw and we would need at least another 30 minutes to try and split the two teams
  • But another half hour couldn’t produce a winner either so we were left to the lottery of spot kicks
  • Lorenzo Insigne would be the first man to step up and he would slot home
  • Toni Kroos would then replicate that and we were at 1-1 a piece
  • Then Simone Zaza produced what must be the worst run up for a penalty ever
  • It was almost tap dance like as he trotted up to the penalty spot only to balloon his effort over the bar
  • Advantage Germany, only Thomas Muller failed to take it as he saw his penalty saved by Gianluigi Buffon
  • Andrea Barzagli then made it 2-1 to Italy
  • Step forward Mesut Ozil and then another penalty miss. This time he hit the post and Germany were looking precarious
  • Could Graziano Pelle put the pressure on the Germans and make it 3-1
  • Well if you thought Zaza’s penalty was bad then this one was atrocious. He dragged his effort wide of the left post to give a Germany a glimmer of hope
  • Julian Draxler showed everyone how it’s done by smashing it home and making it 2-2
  • Then Italy’s earlier hero Leonardo Bonucci step forward again but this time the outcome was the opposite as he saw his effort saved by Neuer
  • Now it was left for Bastian Schweinsteiger to slot home and book Germany’s place in the semi’s
  • Only he skied his effort over the bar and we would now go to sudden death
  • The next three efforts from both sides would be placed into the net
  • We’re now at the 9th taker and Matteo Darmian is up next
  • His very soft penalty is once again saved by Neuer and it’s back to advantage Germany
  • This time there’s no messing about as Jonas Hector is the hero as he puts his penalty past Buffon and ends a dramatic and also comical penalty shoot out to knock Italy out of the competition
  • Germany now await the winner of France vs Iceland
  • While Italy are sent packing
  • Antonio Conte’s time as Italy boss comes to an end as he now starts to plan life at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea Manager
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