Final score - after penalties - 120'
(2)0 - 0(4)
18:45 +00:00, June 24, 2012
Right, time to wrap up and in summary, Italy go through as deserved winners. They will need to up their levels before they face Germany though. For England they go out with a bit of a whimper but get full marks for effort. See you Wednesday for Spain v Portugal. Bye for now.
Hodgson: "I can't fault any of the players, we had a lot running on empty at the end but they kept us in right until the end. Unfortunately it was Italy who got the breaks in the shoot out."
Some stats that sum up Italy's superiority: They had 68% possession and 36 shots on goal compared to England's nine. I think it is fair to say the best team won.
Gerrard: "I think we've done the country proud but it doesn't help with the heartbreak."
Pirlo's penalty took some stones to pull off! It was a vital kick too - had he missed England would surely have gone on to win, but he converted with such conviction Italy were never going to lose after that.
As for Italy, Pirlo again was their outstanding player and surely Germany will have to shackle him better than England managed. They also need to be far more clinical because they won't get as many chances in the semi as they did tonight.
There's not even the despair from England that we usually see from a penalty shoot out defeat. They know they did well to even take it that far. A brave effort but they just didn't have the quality or the ability to keep hold of the ball for long enough spells. Much work to do for Roy Hodgson.
Italy have sneaked through and the teams shake hands. But how much will they have left in the tank? 120 minutes will have taken a lot out of them and Germany were sitting at homer with their feet up loving every minute.
The turning point was Ashley Young's penalty - it was terrible and Italy kept their nerve, no more so than Pirlo with that cheeky chip! Balls of steel!
Joy for Italy and it was always coming. England are rotten on penalties and the right team have won - Italy played the better football, had more chances and deserve their tie with Germany.
GOAL Diamanti scores and Italy are through!
Diamanti to take...
Ashley Cole misses! Italy on the brink! They lead 3-2 and can win with this spot kick!
Ashley Cole now for England.
Nocerino scores coolly and Italy are ahead again. They lead 3-2.
Still 2-2 and back on routine....
He'd had such a bad game why did he take one?
Young misses, hits the bar. We are back level.
GOAL Pirlo scores with a slow chip! What nerves of steel! Italy 2-2 England.
Good penalty, sends Buffon the wrong way. Now Pirlo.
GOAL Rooney scores! Italy 1-2 England!
A poor penalty - didn't even make Hart work. He hangs his head.
Montolivo misses! Italy 1-1 England.
GOAL Gerrard scores! Italy 1-1 England.
Gerrard now for England.
GOAL Balotelli scores! Great pen! Italy 1-0 England.
Balotelli to take the first - smiles between him and Hart. The keeper starts talking.
Two excellent keepers to face these penalties - Buffon we all know is top class, he was in goal when Italy won the World Cup 2006 via the spot. While Joe Hart isn't shabby himself and saved a few in a shoot out for the U-21s a few years ago.
Balotelli and Gerrard get massages - both of them will be required in this shoot out.
We know full well that both sides will have been practising penalties for weeks now. Hart has a quick look on an I-pad to remind himself of Italy's penalty takers and their preferred sides.
FULL TIME - England hold on and they will have a chance to go through to the semis from the spot. Italy, will wonder how on earth it has come to this. They should have been home and dry a long time ago. Penalties you cruel and fickle mistress, we meet again.
Rooney wins a free kick and that might be the last action.
Gerrard gives away a soft foul and Italy can load the box from this free kick wide right. They take it short....
Poor from Montolivo, who is off balance but still tries a shot that rolls harmlessly wide. One minute to go before penalties.
Good noise from the England fans, trying to will those in white on for one last big effort.
Diamanti's corner goes past everyone and England have three minutes to hold on for penalties.
Again, Rooney and Carroll can't keep hold of the ball long enough to bring anyone else into play and the ball is back in Azzurri hands.
Finally Italy stick it into the net but Nocerino was offside! Diamanti's cross found him three yards out and he found the roof of the net but the flag was up quickly, and rightly, it turns out.
Johnson does well to win the ball at the back post and hump it upfield. Carroll wins it but Rooney hasn't got the legs to chase it.
Carroll has won nearly every long ball since he's come on and not once has either Young or Rooney got on the end of it. From the latest Italy cross, Diamanti fires over from 10 yards.
Balotelli hits this free kick miles over the bar and into the stands. Pirlo stares at the floor in disgust. Bad Mario.
Rooney is furious after tumbling theatrically when Carroll ran past him. Rooney is incensed. Another free kick.
Two excellent clearing headers from Carroll as the free kick comes back into the box. England can't hold out, surely. It's a barrage
Young does give a free kick away now as Maggio runs into him. Good chance to deliver with quality from wide right.
Diamanti just seems to want to shoot all the time. He gets good ball from Marchisio but tries to curl a shot to the far corner rather than return it.
Diamanti is clattered by Young but the ref waits an age to blow his whistle. And after all that he's restarting with a drop ball that England boot back to Buffon.
A quarter of an hour left to prevent both sets of supporters from the agony of a penalty shoot out. Can England hang on?
HT in ET As the half comes to an end Johnson finds Walcott but he neglects to shoot from an angle eight yards out - instead he crosses too deep for Carroll at the back post.
This game now has the feeling of a training ground exercise.
Still such carelessness from England when they have the ball. Italy build again patiently. They will be wondering why they aren't drinking champagne in the bar already.
Terry is tripped as he tries to get in front of Balotelli. He's been very good tonight, it must be said.
Off the post! Diamanti's cross is misjudged by Hart, who scrambles across and can only watch as it clips the outside of the upright.
Please let's not have this go to penalties. I think we can all do without that.
Fair to say the reaction on Twitter to Henderson's appearance has not been kind. Balotelli wriggles free of Lescott and shoots but it is right at Hart.
Young crosses deep for Walcott but Buffon is up to claim. Then Balotelli has a pop from an angle 35 yards out. He's getting more and more frustrated.
Rooney tries an overhead kick
England have been woeful tonight. Walcott breaks but Rooney hesitates in possession and is crowded out. Carroll was unmarked back post too.
Panic as Gerrard delivers the free kick but the flag went up. The ball squirmed loose and Lescott tried to profit.
England's last change as Henderson comes on for the spent Parker.
Maggio gets a yellow for a late one on Young and he'll now miss the semi when Italy win. Sorry, if Italy win.
A neat round of passing finds its way to Nocerino and he fires over from range.
Carroll falls over and nearly buys a free kick, then Italy grab the ball and start to build again...
KICK OFF - the extra 30 minutes starts here....
Both teams huddle round their manager and get some extra tactical instructions. England have to get further up the field and look after the ball better, Italy just need that killer pass to fall and for one of their strikers to be clinical.
FULL TIME - The whistle blows and we will have 30 minutes extra. England have stood firm as Italy dominated the second half. It is the first 0-0 draw in the tournament and there is sure to be more drama to come.
Walcott nearly gets away down the right before England build again down the left, Young feeds Cole, his cross is nodded back by Carroll and Rooney's overhead flies over. Such a difficult skill to master.
Abate limps off and Christian Maggio comes on. Enforced change it looks like.
Three minutes added...
A last-ditch block from Johnson as Nocerino pulls the ball down beautifully before shooting. Johnson tracked him all the way. Corner.
Carroll wins it for Walcott but he and Rooney can't keep hold of the football. Frustrating for England's fans.
Carroll comes inside and tries a shot, the block rolls to Parker who fluffs a simple pass to Walcott who had oodles of space on the right side of the area.
Balotelli handballs and England gain another chunk of respite. His influence has been limited this half.
Carroll and Rooney sitting 40 yards from England's goal now. This is one-way traffic. Don't see why they are wanting extra time when they look so bereft of energy.
Can this game produce a hero? Or are we destined for extra time?
Italy clear and Parker picks it up before having a shot blocked, Terry was once again hauled down in the box before Balzaretti goes down. He was caught in Parker's follow through from shooting.
Barzagli charges into Young and wins the ball cleanly but is penalised and carded. Studs were up a little.
Italy have had 23 attempts on goal to England's six.
Diamanti announces his arrival with a shot on the turn. England are knackered and dropping deeper and deeper. Italy looking fluid and threatening.
Another change for Italy, De Rossi comes off and Antonio Nocerino comes on. Slight surprise.
Hart is forced to punch as Terry half blocks a Marchisio cross. Cole knocks it behind for a corner.
Italy's first change and Cassano makes way for Alessandro Diamanti. Only his third cap.
Gerrard's ball is a good one and is near to Rooney, he fails to get a flick on it and Buffon charges across to grab it before it nestles in the corner.
Bonucci fouls Carroll and England can get the ball into the box.
Young gives the ball away again and England are just hanging on here. Can't keep the ball for even two passes. Terry blocks from Montolivo again.
England hand the ball back to Italy after they allowed Gerrard to get treatment.
Gerrard loses the ball then goes down with cramp. Not ideal for England. They could do with Pirlo being struck down by something similar.
De Rossi misses a glorious chance
England still can't keep possession on the rare occasions they get the ball. Carroll hasn't changed that and Walcott has hardly seen the ball.
At least Young is tracking back well, winning a goal kick off Abate as he drives to the byline.
Carroll is certainly putting himself about - fouling Pirlo now.
The game is stretched now and Terry blocks again as Marchisio tries to shoot from 20 yards. There's a goal coming. Carroll then wins the ball well off De Rossi but he goes down and England put the ball out.
Gerrard delivers deep, and everyone tugs an opponent's shirt. Italy free kick, though De Rossi was all over Terry.
A great chance for Young! Walcott crosses, and Carroll confuses Abate - the ball breaks free but Young scuffs it wide from 12 yards. Corner.
How Young survived when the changes were made is beyond me. He's been dreadful this evening, and gives the ball away right on cue. He's made Milner look good.
Nice work by Balotelli, down the right and holding it up, he lays it back to Pirlo who finds De Rossi at the back post but he can't Van Basten it over Hart and in.
Carroll wins Hart's punt but no-one gambles on it. Italy just let him flick it on.
Milner and Welbeck go off, Walcott and Carroll come on.
A great effort from Balotelli as he brings down a looping ball in the box and tees it up before sticking an overhead kick over the bar. Brilliant.
Young and Abate are both back after treatment. A nasty bang of heads it was too.
Carroll and Walcott are stripped and ready.
Italy are bound to score soon if they carry on like this. England can't get out of their half or keep the ball. A clash of heads between Young and Abate offers them a chance to regroup a little.
Good defending from Cole as he tracks Abate and concedes a corner.
Then as England finally break into Italy's half Gerrard slips when faced with Balzaretti.
Try as they might to block it out, Italy might just be wondering if this will be one of those nights given all the chances they have missed. Young gives the ball away again. England frantic now.
Now Balotelli gets in over the top again and Hart is out quickly. England looking vulnerable to the long punt.
Then a triple chance for Italy! Pirlo fires in the first effort and Hart parries, then his legs block Balotelli's follow up from eight yards before Montolivo volleys over to end a breathless passage!
Ponderous from Parker and Italy work it wide to Abate - his cross is superb but Terry gets a vital flick to deny Balotelli.
Gerrard's corner is cleared before Milner hauls down Balotelli and prevents his club team-mate breaking.
What a miss from De Rossi! The corner is cleared, then nodded back in and he is all alone six yards out but drags his volley wide. He holds his head in his hands.
Dangerous cross from Abate and Johnson clears, then concedes a corner as the return ball comes in.
Fast start from England as Rooney nearly gets a shot off in the area before Milner pulls a cross behind three England attackers.
We begin again...
Two contrasting stats: England have lost seven out of ten quarter-final games at major tournaments, with 1966, 1990 and 1996 the only exceptions. But, they haven't lost a competitive game in which Joe Hart has played - 11 times.
Super Mario made good contact with this shot
ESPN editor John Brewin on Twitter: Hurricane Wayne incoming. Goal or card, which is it to be? Those potato-like features are becoming increasingly rouged.
Well, that was a half of two halves. England very good to start with but surrendered possession and territory as the match went on, and that's when Pirlo's passing came into its own. Italy should be in front, in truth.
John Terry blocks Balotelli's attempted chip
HALF TIME - England must ensure they get to the break level as Italy have ended the half very strongly. And they have as the whistle goes to signal the interval. Chances at either end, with Balotelli prominent. Entertaining stuff.
Milner and Johnson are not operating well down the right after that initial chance. Giving the ball away for fun. Balotelli smashes another shot over the bar.
Balotelli booted the post after his miss. Couldn't see any England nick on it. Then England waste a great chance; Italy took a free kick quickly but the recipient wasn't ready and Young was away, he played in Rooney but the cross was poor and cleared.
Welbeck tracks back and tidies up as Marchisio tried to back heel it to Balzaretti then from the other side Pirlo finds Cassano who nods across goal and Balotelli blazes over from four yards. Corner given though.
Rooney is in the wars a bit - this time Marchisio pulls him down but the ref lets play go on. In the end Milner loses the ball.
Balotelli goes down as Hart comes out and claims a long ball. He says Lescott gave him a tug but the ref doesn't agree.
Cassano is finding his range now, this effort forces Hart to parry and then claim at the second attempt.
Rooney gets away from De Rossi and goes down after the Italian lunged in but the referee tells Rooney to get up. He is not happy.
Rooney tries a pinpoint long pass to Young but Bonucci nods it clear just in time. England regressing deeper and deeper.
England do sit very deep without possession. Italy have already completed twice as many passes in the game.
Johnson seems prone to falling over this evening. That is three times he has slipped now.
Cassano is looking lively, he cuts in and has a pop but he drags this one down and wide of the post. Good game this. Even. Ish.
Now England hit back as Welbeck breaks into Italy's half, plays a one-two with Rooney but fires wide from the edge of the box. Milner was to his right unmarked too.
Cute pass from Montolivo as he loops it over the top again, Mario is in but his volley is right at Hart. He kicks the ground in frustration.
England need more from Welbeck here - no ball is sticking to his feet at the moment. Italy now dominant.
Italy move the ball to Montilivo but his shot is well wide.
Five players tear into Rooney as he receives the ball 40 yards from goal. He manages to poke it to Gerrard who hoofs the ball downfield.
Parker is outnumbered in midfield and Pirlo plays it back to Buffon. Italy build again.
Rooney has a brief sight of goal before deciding to spread the ball wide for Milner but Marchisio gets a block on it.
Balotelli is sprung clean through over the top - the tactic finally worked - but as Hart comes out, John Terry makes a vital block as he gets his leg in the way of Mario's attempted chip.
Cole is mugged by Montolivo but then he overruns the ball and Parker steps in. England have gone very quiet all of a sudden.
Balotelli glares at the assistant after being flagged for pulling Lescott's shirt. Pick your battles Mario.
Another early Mexican wave has started. Booo.
Well done Danny Welbeck - he nods a devilish ball clear from the near post and then watches as Bonucci's return goes behind for a goal kick.
Cassano is swarmed as he looks to unload a shot, Parker stays on his feet long enough to make the tackle. The tide is turning a little here as Italy win a corner.
England build down the right again and Gerrard crosses but this one, by his standards, is not great. Rooney watches it trickle out of play. Someone remind the skipper Carroll isn't playing.
Danger for England as Montolivo tries a flick for Cassano but Hart is out smartly.
Surprisingly, Pirlo's delivery is poor and Balzaretti's attempt to turn it back in is equally so.
Prandelli has spent much of the evening prowling his technical area. He looks on as Lescott fouls Balotelli wide right and concedes a free kick.
A good ten minute spell for England as they put Italy under pressure at the back. Gerrard and Parker play it out of defence neatly but the move ends with a poor cross from Rooney. Still not firing on all cylinders isn't Wayne.
Hart dives despairingly as De Rossi's effort hits the post
Fantastic cross from Johnson and Rooney dives in with Abate looking to nod home on the dive from six yards but the defender stayed with the striker enough to put him off and the ball flies over the bar.
Milner's cross is punched by Buffon but Parker's whizzing half volley spins wide. Far from convincing from the veteran stopper.
Rooney gets down the left after good work from Parker - he has two in the box and goes for a near post drill but Bonucci turns it behind for a corner.
Interesting to see Italy go long quite often in the opening minutes. England working down the flanks.
Nicely worked down the left side and a nice jink from Young but his deep cross is cleared by De Rossi and now Italy can break - but Cassano's pass was poor and England regroup.
England fail to close down Pirlo, who knocks a long ball up to Cassano but he fouls Lescott and a free kick is given.
So, less than seven minutes gone but good chances at both ends. England still relying on being very compact and solid when Italy have the ball.
Now Parker drives into the box but can't find Welbeck with the lay-off. Very promising start to the game.
What a save! Buffon claws out a stabbed shot from Glen Johnson as Milner's cross found him eight yards out. A superb stop as Johnson struggled to get enough power on it.
Off the post! A sublime effort from De Rossi as Cassano pulled the ball back to him 35 yards out. Hart dives full stretch and is relieved as De Rossi's arrowing volley cannons back off the post!
As the anthems begin, a quick reminder who is a yellow card away from missing the semi-final. For England: Cole, Young, Gerrard and Milner. For Italy: Buffon, Balzaretti, Balotelli, De Rossi, Montolivo and Bonucci. Quite a list.
Good start from Italy as Terry is forced to clear under pressure then Balzaretti gets into a good crossing position before over-hitting his ball.
The pivot point of Italy's operation is Andrea Pirlo, and his evergreen range of passing. Wayne Rooney, England's talisman, will surely drop deep and try to interrupt his gorgeous flow (and I'm not talking about his hair).
Less than 40 seconds on the clock before Mario announces himself, trying a spectacular volley from 40 yards out. He scuffed it.
KICK OFF - you know as well as I do, 90 minutes of drama and tension awaits. Here we go...
The key tonight for me, as far as England are concerned, is how they operate down the flanks. Italy are deploying a midfield diamond which means they could be exploited if Ashley Young and James Milner get quick ball. Steven Gerrard's diagonal passing range could be invaluable.
Meanwhile, the main difference between Italy and England is Andrea Pirlo: the type of player the Three Lions really need, writes Billy Blagg.
England have revelled in a tournament free from the ridiculous expectations that are usually thrust upon them and have displayed a decent amount of resolve under Roy Hodgson. They seem more united and much more solid, but not as threatening as in previous years.
In terms of progress in this tournament, Italy have never quite matched the level they produced in a creditable opening draw with Spain. They played well for a half against Croatia, then rather laboured to a 2-0 win over Ireland. But they still remain favourties for this one.
Some more pre-match reading material, this time from our hardcore team of bloggers. While Italy are fully focused on quarter-final tactics, the English media are already busy planning for the semi-finals writes Sumeet Paul.
The last meeting between these two came ten years ago when Italy came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over England at Elland Road. You won't be surprised to hear that Gianluigi Buffon is the only survivor from that game.
For Italy, Balotelli has a huge role. He is the player who can create something from nothing but also the man whose temperament can reduce a fine-tuned tactical master plan into tatters.
Without further ado, it is on to the team news, and unsurprisingly, England remain unchanged with Roy Hodgson sticking with the line-up that defeated Ukraine and sealed top spot in Group D.
Three changes for Italy as Balotelli returns for Di Natale, the injured Chiellini is replaced by Leonardo Bonucci and Thiago Motta's place is taken by Riccardo Montolivo.
Before you go anywhere or do anything, have a read of James Dall's match preview, which tells you all you need to know about the last quarter-final of the tournament.
Tonight's Euro 2012 quarter-final pits England against Italy, and the tournament's most talked about striker, against a string of his Premier League colleagues. So, which Mario will show up?