Last Updated: 28/06/12 9:46pm
It's all over and Italy will play Spain in Sunday's final of Euro 2012 after deservedly overcoming favourites Germany 2-1 in Warsaw tonight. Mario Balotelli is the hero as his two first-half goals proved the difference but the margin of victory could have been greater had they not been so wasteful.
Germany frantically try to get the ball forward as they search for the most dramatic of equalisers but Italy repell the threat.
GOAL OZIL - Ozil makes no mistake from the spot as he clinically fires his shot into the top corner. Could this spark a stunning comeback?!
Neuer is up for the corner but the ball ends up falling for Ozil, who fires his shot wide from the edge of the box.
Buffon spills the ball inside the box before his defenders help him out to boot the ball behind for a corner.
Motta is booked after a foul in midfield. Italy have everyone back as they try to prevent an unlikely German comeback.
Kroos' volley from just outside the box is always rising and Buffon watches it fly high over the bar.
Reus has a half-chance with the ball at his feet inside the box but Barzagli weighs in with an excellent tackle.
Lahm's curling effort from out on the left is easily claimed by Buffon. It's all rather desperate from Germany at the moment and I don't think even the most optimistic of their supporters will expect a recovery now.
Moments later Barzagli puts the ball in the net but the offside flag is raised. Germany's defence looks extremely weary and defeated.
Di Natale beats the German offside trap as he casually enters the box before screwing an awful attempt into the side netting. Really should have made it three.
Diamanti breaks forward for Italy on the counter but he slips inside the box and the chance to make it 3-0 is lost.
Down the other end, Italy really should wrap up the victory but Marchisio drags his shot from inside the box agonisingly wide.
Klose does well to keep what seemed to be a lost cause in play as he loops the ball back into the box, but Buffon is alert to claim it.
Lahm's cross from the left is easily dealt with by Italy and you have to say Germany are running out of ideas.
Germany just haven't put Italy under enough pressure in this second half and they look a beaten side. Negative body language from virtually every player.
Balotelli is now taken off to be replaced by Antonio Di Natale. Will his two goal prove to be enough to send Italy into the Euro 2012 final?
Marchisio is put through on goal by Diamanti's lovely pass but he fires his shot wide of the mark from the edge of the box. He should have done better.
The German supporters are a bit flat at the moment because it just doesn't look like their side can find a way through the Italian defence.
Diamanti tries to catch Neuer off his line with an audacious attempt from the halfway line but the Germany goalkeeper is back in time to collect the ball which was going wide anyway.
Reus' curling effort over the wall looks as through it's heading for the top corner before Buffon tips the ball onto the bar and behind for a corner.
Kroos is brought down by Bonucci around 25 yards out and Germany have a free kick in a dangerous position. Bonucci is also booked.
Balotelli tries to find the far corner of the net from the right side of the box but his low drilled effort goes wide of the post.
The Azzurri have repelled the German threat so well tonight and don't look fazed or jittery at all. It's all very cool and composed.
Ozil does brilliantly to burst down the right side of the box before passing the ball back for Klose, who is crowded out by a number of Italian defenders.
The previously confident German fans are looking extremely despondent right now. There are certainly goals in their side but the Italians are just playing so well tonight.
Cassano's ball into the box nearly finds Balotelli before Germany clear their lines. Another goal for Italy would surely kill this game off for good.
Germany's latest attack comes to a halt when the ball bounces up and hits Schweinsteiger's arm just outside the area.
Lahm blazes over the bar after playing a lovely one-two with Schweinsteiger on the edge of the box and that really needed to go in for Germany.
Claudio Marchisio is struck in the face by the ball in midfield and the referee pauses the game to let him recover.
Reus shows great skill and balance to work himself some space on the right side of the box but his shot is weak and Buffon saves at the near post.
Germany get the second half under way hoping to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Italy and book their place in Sunday's final against Spain.
Germany have made two changes at the break with Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus coming on for Podolski and Gomez.
Germany are 10/1 with Sky Bet to come back and win in 90 minutes with Italy 2/9 to win in normal time and extra-time a 9/2 shot. The Germans are 4/1 to book their place in the final and 16/1 to win on penalties, while Mario Balotelli is 10/1 to complete his hat-trick by netting next. Head to www.skybet.com to place your in-running bets.
The half-time whistle sounds and Italy head into the break with an unexpected - yet thoroughly deserved - 2-0 lead over Germany in Warsaw.
Germany have a corner on the left after Podolski's cross is blocked by Balzaretti and they desperately need a goal here.
There's no doubt that Italy are good value for their lead tonight but we can expect Germany to throw everything at the Azzurri in the second half.
England's performance against Italy doesn't look quite as bad now! At least Roy Hodgson's side defended a lot better than Germany have done tonight.
Podolski's touch lets him down on the left side of the box as he puts the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Germany were favourites heading into this clash but they now have a mountain to climb against this impressive young Italian outfit.
GOAL BALOTELLI - Italy catch Germany cold on the counter attack as a completely unmarked Balotelli races clean through on goal before blasting his shot high into the top corner. Where were the German defenders?
Buffon produces a fantastic flying save to his right to prevent Khedira's volley finding the top corner.
Great chance for Italy as Montolivo collects a pass inside the box but he waits too long to shoot before Badstuber tackles him.
Boateng curls a dangerous cross into the box from the right but Federico Balzaretti gets to the ball before Podolski to put it behind for a corner.
Not for the first time tonight, Pirlo demonstrates his excellent ball control and touch in midfield as he retains possession for Italy.
Montolivo is fighting for every ball in midfield although on this occasion he's penalised by the referee for a foul on Khedira.
Italy are much more confident at the back and in midfield now they've got their noses in front and you have to wonder if Germany really should have gone for the jugular earlier on.
Mesut Ozil tries to almost pass his long-range shot into the net from but Buffon is hardly troubled as he dives to his right to save.
The German supporters are beginning to find their voices again after being silenced by Balotelli's goal. They've got to try and inspire their side, who do look a little frustrated out there at the moment.
Joachim Low looks a rather concerned figure on the touchline as he thinks of a way to get his side back into this match.
Italy again come forward looking dangerous but when Claudio Marchisio loses possession, he then fouls Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Germany look to make an immediate response by Lukas Podolski's attempted cross from the left goes straight out of play.
The goal was coming but questions will be asked of the German defenders, who gave the controversial striker far too much space.
GOAL BALOTELLI - Cassano shows great skill down the left wing to beat his man before sending in a pin-point cross for Balotelli to head home from close range.
Antonio Cassano's curling effort from around 20 yards out on the left looks destined for the far corner only for Neuer to make a superb save.
Italy look much brighter on the counter attack but Montolivo's dinked cross from the left is cleared out of play by Holger Badstuber for a throw.
Italy do look very nervy at the back and they certainly need to sure things up if they're to keep Germany at bay tonight.
The resulting corner is taken short to Toni Kroos, who unleashes a fierce shot at goal from the edge of the box to force Buffon into a fine save.
Italy avoid conceding the opening by the skin of their teeth after Jerome Boateng's cross from the right bounces inches wide following a deflection off Buffon.
Sami Khedira tries his luck from range but Buffon makes a comfortable catch without the need to dive.
Strong defending from Hummels prevents Balotelli getting a shot in but the Man City striker is looking dangerous in these early stages.
Pirlo is unlikely to be given the same space as England allowed him in the quarter-finals but the Azzurri will still look to him to weave his magic again.
The Germans have never beaten Italy in a competitive game but they are regarded favourites to end that run tonight.
Germany have a corner down the left but Mats Hummels' clumsy effort is kept out by Andrea Pirlo on the line before Gianluigi Buffon claims it.
Riccardo Montolivo tries to slots a ball foward for Mario Balotelli to latch onto but Manuel Neuer is quickly off his line to gather.
Italy get this Euro 2012 semi-final under way against Germany, with both sides looking to set up a showdown with Spain on Sunday.
The national anthem are being played out, with both sets of players and supporters belting our the respective lyrics with pride.
Timal Mihiranga Subasingha Kottawatta and Peter Robinson disagree. Timal says: "I think Italy will play against all odds & win the game. 2-1 Italy. Pirlo wiss score from free kick & Balotelli will start scoring. For German Schweinsteiger will score. Come on Pirlo." And Peter, an ex-pat Villa fan from Chicago, writes: "Going for a first half goal and Italy winning 1-0, well I hope anyway."
Reece Clark says: "I think Germany will walk through italy tonight winning 4-1 with goals from Mario Gomez (2), Klose and reus, with Balotelli scoring for italy." Bold prediction!
Stephen Dodds from Minneapolis writes: "Since I am an Englishman abroad I have been following the progress of Euro 2012 from afar in Minneapolis, USA and so far I am spot on with my Germany v Spain final. Only Italy stand in their way now and given that the Italian side have not set the world on fire, unless it goes to penalties I can see Germany strolling to 3-1 success today. 3-1 after extra time is my prediction. Gomez to come off the bench an bag a brace."
Jay Barritt writes: "Pirlo ran the show against England but I don't think the Germans will give him anywhere near as much space as England did and in the end they'll prove too strong for Italy over the 90 minutes. Germany 2-0 Italy."
Gerry H from Miami writes: "I think this will be a comforatble win for Germany, 3-0 with goals from Ozil, Gomez and Hummels."
As you can see from the team sheets below, Arsenal new-boy Lukas Podolski is restored to the Germany starting line-up. Podolski, Golden Boot contender Mario Gomez and Toni Kroos are all recalled by Germany coach Joachim Low, who is hoping to preside over a 16th successive win in competitive matches, and a first against Italy. The Azzurri show just one change from the side that defeated England on penalties, Giorgio Chiellini back from a thigh injury to replace Ignazio Abate.
The Germany team is: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Kroos, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez. Subs: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Klose, Muller, Bender, Mertesacker, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.
The Italy team is: Buffon, Balzaretti, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Pirlo, Marchisio, Montolivo, De Rossi, Balotelli, Cassano. Subs: Sirigu, Ogbonna, Thiago Motta, Abate, Di Natale, Giaccherini, Borini, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.
Germany are 5/6 to win in 90 minutes at Sky Bet, who make Italy at 18/5 and the draw 5/2. The Germans are a 2/5 shot to reach the final after that and a 10/1 chance to win in extra time or on penalties. It's 2/1 for Italy to qualify for the final - 12/1 in extra time and 10/1 on penalties. If you fancy a bigger price what about Mario Gomez to score first and Germany to win 2-0 at 28/1 or 55/1 for Mario Balotelli to score first and Italy to win 1-0. At this stage it's 13/8 for Germany to go on and win the trophy and 13/2 for Italy, Spain are currently the 5/6 favourites. Head now to www.skybet.com to place your pre-match and in-running bets.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of the second Euro 2012 semi-final between Germany and Italy at the Warsaw National Stadium. The winner of tonight's clash will of course face Spain, who overcame Portugal on penalties last night, in Sunday's final. Send in your pre-match thoughts to me at email@example.com. Kick-off is at 1945 BST.