Full-time - 90'
1 - 2
18:45 +00:00, June 28, 2012
Warsaw National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland
Whatever happens it should be an absolute cracker, and of course you can follow with us right here. Can Spain win their third successive major tournament and create history? Or can Italy mirror their 2006 World Cup success when they took top honours in the midst of a match-fixing scandal in their domestic league? Join us to find out. Bye for now.
I'm confident Italy can beat Spain on Sunday. They showed in their group game they can live with their style and cause problems of their own. They must retain this progressive approach and try to hurt the Spanish, with Cassano and Balotelli in this mood they can do just that. They've shown their defence is sturdy enough.
Germany still can't beat Italy in a competitive match - and in truth they never really looked like doing so once Balotelli opened the scoring. Italy were fantastic, devastating in the first half, solid and durable in the second. They will face Spain for the second time in the competition, in Sunday's final.
A breathless finish to the match as Schweinsteiger took the free kick short and the ref blew up. Surely it had to go into the box?! Italy celebrate, Balotelli looks like he's just watched a play rather than scored two brilliant goals in a Euro 2012 semi-final. A great game and deserved winners.
FULL TIME - Italy have done it!
Free kick for Germany and this is it. Neuer races forward....
There will be some time added for the goal so I reckon just less than a minute left.
Neuer is playing in Italy's half! He nods a ball from inside the centre circle and as it lands Hummels fouls his opponent and is booked for his reaction.
And Bonucci is forced to clear as Kroos chased down a long ball...
Two minutes left for Germany to rescue this game....
GOAL Ozil scores and races back with the ball....
GERMANY PENALTY - handball given against Balzaretti as Klose lurked. Maybe a sniff....
Four minutes added time....
A last-gasp chance for Hummels as Klose keeps a cross alive, Buffon saves and then Bonucci stabs it behind for a corner. Neuer comes up but as the ball falls for Ozil he volleys wide of the post.
A nasty looking high tackle from Motta. Germany free kick on the right flank.
Muller has space to cross on the right and numbers in the box but the ball is poor and Buffon grabs it.
There is so much space for Italy now they can keep the ball at their leisure. Germany's nightmare is fast becoming a reality. They still can't beat Italy in a competitive game.
Superb tackle from Balzaretti as Reus got the ball inside the area. He blocks the shot behind for a corner then celebrates like he's just scored a third.
Buffon's punch on Ozil's corner isn't convincing but it does clear the ball out of the box, then Di Natale is caught offside he really shouldn't have been.
A yellow for De Rossi for an aerial barge.
But Germany are wide open at the back whenever they lose the ball, this time Balzaretti is played in and finishes well but he was offside.
Di Natale misses when clean through! Incredible - he had 35 yards to run on Neuer but waits for an age then hits the side-netting. Not good, not good at all.
Germany are slowly sinking here and there's very little the anxious Low can do about it.
Germany are far too narrow here, Schweinsteiger had no options and eventually loses the ball. Diamanti is off again down the right but slips again. Get that lad some longer studs. The playing surface hasn't been great all night in truth.
Schweinsteiger's cross falls to Kroos but he never looked comfortable on his left foot and boots it over. Low on the bench shouts: "Ahh, Toni!"
Excellent tackle from De Rossi as Muller looks to get into the box, then Diamanti is one on one with Badstuber, beats him, then slips, looks to cross for Di Natale, then slips again, then loses possession. Frantic stuff.
Muller wins a corner that Ozil delivers, Hummels meets it but can only nod over the bar.
The German fans have gone quiet now - they know their team needs a goal in the next five minutes or the game is up.
What a chance to wrap this up for Italy. Marchisio latches onto a ball after Badstuber misses it, then the defender slips but Marchisio fires wide of the far post from ten yards. Di Natale was square screaming for it.
Buffon gets lucky as he lets a cross go but Klose manages to knock it back into play. However, the keeper only had to beat Reus to the looping ball, which he did.
Excellent header from Barzagli as Schweini launches the ball long. Germany all over the place formation wise now, as Neuer tries a ridiculous flick when faced with Di Natale. He gifts Italy a throw in.
Germany's final change. Boateng heads off and Muller comes on. That switch is called the kitchen sink.
Great closing down from Klose after Ozil had turned a tired ball towards the striker. Germany running out of ideas and steam a little here.
Mario's race is run and Di Natale replaces him. He's not happy though as Prandelli explains the reasoning behind it.
Balotelli goes down with some well-timed cramp. Germany not happy about it. Here comes a stretcher. Cor blimey....
What a move! A superb flick from Marchisio to Motta and a delicate return ball but Marchisio's attempted finish skews wide off his right boot. Germany carved open again.
Diamanti tries to lob Neuer from the half way line. Ambitious. Confident. Or just silly?
A frantic session of pinball in the middle of the park. Balotelli up top ploughing a lone furrow now.
Germany much, much better now. But they need the goal that will lift them further and cast doubts in Italy's minds.
Another Italy change - Montolivo heads off, and doesn't look wildly happy about it, Thiago Motta replaces him.
Reus hits it - and it is a super strike - but Buffon gets across to flick it onto the top of the bar. Corner.
Kroos clipped by Bonucci on the edge of the box. A card and a great chance for Germany.
The first real second-half involvement for Mario as he snakes his way into the area before blasting a shot wide of the far post. It was always curling away from goal though.
Boateng crosses and Klose meets it but he can only flick it wide. German fans still singing. Great backing.
Diamanti is coming on for Cassano, who looks knackered.
Superb tempo to the game - this could well be the Euro 2012 classic we've been waiting for. And a fantastic tackle from Bonucci as Klose ran onto a pass inside the penalty area.
Then Ozil drives brilliantly to the byline and pulls it back where a sea of bodies contest the ball, Khedira can't fashion a shot and Chiellini hoofs clear.
Reus' breaks down the right and his half-blocked cross finds Klose who hits the turf, but tripped over himself.
Germany's fans getting behind their team at least. There were a few of them in tears at the end of the first half. No-one likes to see that.
Italy still a threat though, as Cassano's cross is fumbled by Lahm with Balotelli in attendance. Germany scramble it away.
Reus has made a difference already. I'm surprised he didn't start given his performance against Greece. Italy have to ensure they don't drop too deep trying to protect their lead.
Much better from Germany. It looks as though Reus has halted the move with a poor pass back for Ozil but it breaks to Lahm, who drives into the box, gets the ball back from Klose and fires over from 16 yards. Should have scored.
Marchisio just took a ball full in the face. That looked painful. I'll be honest, I couldn't help but chuckle though. Us Brits love a bit of slapstick.
Early involvement for Reus as he nips past Barzagli but rather drags his left-foot shot. Buffon gets across.
What will the Italians' approach be I wonder? Keep it tight, play on the break and scrap for every ball that comes your way.
Here come Reus and Klose for Germany. Gomez and Podolski go off. Game on....
Mario smashes home number two. To quote Alan Partridge: "He's got a foot like a traction engine."
Italy have never lost a two goal lead at a European Championship or World Cup. Germany have the firepower but they need to alter things. The Kroos tracking Pirlo experiment hasn't worked and they look more determined to stop Italy than playing their own game.
The good news for Germany is that they have potent weapons on the bench. Klose, Muller, Schurrle, Reus and Gotze to name but a few. They need to get to grips with Mario too.
Super Mario nods home Italy's first...
HALF TIME - safe to say that was Mario Balotelli's half. A powerful header and a thumping drive have handed Italy a huge advantage. Germany have 15 minutes to come up with a Plan B.
Now Podolski wins a corner of Balzaretti. Can the Germans get one back before the break?
Lahm crosses this time and Gomez wrestles with Bonucci before Buffon claims it proudly. The Italians are enjoying this.
Balotelli trots over to the sideline for a drink and a chat with Cesare Prandelli. Can't quite see what Cassano did - there was no contact from Badstuber. Must have landed heavily.
Italy stroking the ball round nicely at the back before another long punt is aimed towards Balotelli. Then Cassano hits the turf in pain after leaping over a ball-winning tackle from Badstuber.
Germany, obviously, are rattled here. It's a case of hanging on until half time and then trying to regroup.
Two half chances for Germany as Lahm's cross finds Ozil at the back post but his back-heel lay-off is poor, then as a cross comes in from the right this time, Podolski miscontrols.
He's been unstoppable tonight so far and neither Badstuber nor Hummels can get to grips with him.
Mario took his shirt off and flexed his muscles in celebration, and gets the inevitable booking. German defending very poor for the goal, static when the ball was played over the top.
GOAL Balotelli makes it 2-0! A long ball up field finds Mario onside and all alone, he takes a touch then THUMPS it into the top corner from 18 yards. What a finish!
Now Khedira tries his luck with a sublime volley from 25 yards and only a flying save from Buffon prevents the ball nestling in the corner. Great game now. We've deserved this.
What a chance for Montolivo! Cassano feeds him into the area, he has only Neuer to beat from 14 yards but he waits an age then tries to cut onto his right when Badstuber comes across and the opportunity is lost. Hit it man!
Balotelli wins another free kick, this time off Podolski.
Fantastic ball in from Boateng looking for Podolski but Balzaretti deals with it brilliantly, knocking it over his own bar. That was travelling too.
Badstuber and Balotelli are having a good old tussle. Mario wins this one after the defender tugs his shirt during a battle for the ball.
Now Lahm tries his luck from range, with that goal against Greece fresh in his mind, but this one goes well wide after he slipped when hitting it.
Ozil finds Podolski and only a vital touch on his attempted through ball from Pirlo prevents Gomez getting good possession inside the box.
A terrible header from Gomez as Lahm throws the ball to him - he goes backwards and Hummels has to launch it out of play to prevent Balotelli tearing away.
Good work from Gomez to hold up a long ball and lay off to Ozil, but he tries to beat Buffon with a pass from 20 yards and the keeper is over in time to save.
Another Boateng cross, rather fired at Gomez from a straight angle, and all Germany's Mario can do is flick it behind for an Italy goal kick.
Good cross in from Boateng from the right, Gomez gets across his defender but can only glance it well wide from 16 yards.
The last time Germany went behind in a competitive fixture was in the Euro 2008 final would you believe. A big test for them now.
Another chance for Italy as Marchisio has space on the right side of the box, he loses his footing then can't work a shooting chance before eventually fouling Schweini.
Germany look to hit back as Badstuber passes wide to Lahm, who finds Podolski but he can't wrap his foot round the cross.
Such a well crafted goal. Hummels tried to get tight on Cassano, who turned him, then crossed superbly over Badstuber and Balotelli couldn't miss with his header.
GOAL Balotelli opens the scoring! A fantastic goal as Cassano turns neatly on the left and stands up a cross that finds Mario on the end of it five yards out. Simple but deadly.
Now space for Montolivo to run into as Balotelli peels off into the box. The chip is poor though and Neuer grabs it, now Cassano tries a curler for the far post and Neuer saves comfortably. Good spell for the Azzurri.
Decent shooting chance for Montolivo on the edge of the box as he ghosts past Schweinsteiger. Not sweetly struck but well directed and well saved by Neuer.
Bonucci goes flying as Gomez gives him a shove. No-one really spotted it as Ozil spreads the ball from right to left.
Hummels now steers the ball back to Neuer as Italy again look long for Balotelli.
Hummels barges in Balotelli to commit, would you believe, his first foul of the tournament.
Germany look excellent here, Kroos hammers in a shot on goal and Buffon clears before Lahm's cross is headed away by Bonucci.
Big chance for Germany, Boateng charges up the right and is fed by Khedira, his bobbly cross is missed by the midfielder, and Buffon, before Barzagli inadvertently knocks it past the post and behind for a corner.
De Rossi sweeps another fine pass up for Balotelli, who gets in between Hummels and Badstuber but can't chest it down well enough. Great pass.
There's a frenetic quality to the opening stages. Neither side looking settled with the ball at present. Germany looking more threatening as Khedira's shot is saved comfortably by Buffon.
Excellent defending from Hummels as Balotelli is found by Pirlo in space. The big defender nudges Mario off the ball and clears.
Pirlo hasn't seen much of the ball yet - Germany making sure either Gomez or Podolski drops onto him when Italy are in possession.
Podolski goes in high on De Rossi and concedes a foul. Nasty thump on the knee for a player who was an injury doubt for this game at one stage.
Heavy touch from Khedira as he found space wide right. He thinks about the shot, then tries to take on Chiellini and eventually wins a corner, that Marchisio clears.
Balzaretti in sharpish on Podolski, who hit the turf. Germany corner, that Buffon completely misses but grabs at the second attempt as Hummels can only bundle a weak effort towards goal.
Very nearly an opening for Balotelli but Montolivo's ball is a little overcooked and Neuer speeds out.
An early long ball over the top for Balotelli - a tactic Italy used to good effect against England - but Mario nudged Badstuber and a free kick is awarded.
A deep cross from Schweinsteiger looking for Gomez but it is over everyone and Chiellini watches it roll out.
KICK OFF - only one more of those wretched crowd countdowns to go. A cause for celebration, surely...
Jogi Low claps and thumps his chest as we prepare to kick off. Come on football, entertain us....
As with last night, both captains are reading a short statement backing UEFA's diversity message. Buffon first then Lahm. It's an all inclusive message asking people to reject discrimination and unite through football.
After 240 minutes of goalless football, unless we get one inside three minutes, it will officially be the longest goal drought in European Championships history.
Germahy have had two extra rest days don't forget, and mixed their side up for the win over Greece. That means Podolski and Gomez have had over a week's rest. Italy, taken the full 120 by England on Sunday, will surely be more leggy.
Joachim Low's side have won a record 15 successive competitive games, breaking the 14-match international record previously held by Spain (2010-11), France (2002-04) and the Netherlands (2008-2010).
A Germany side containing Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Jérôme Boateng, Mesut Özil and Mats Hummels
earned a 1-0 win against the Italy of Ignazio Abate, Sebastian Giovinco and Mario Balotelli in the 2009 European Under-21 Championship semi-finals.
Three-time winners Germany have won all but one of their six European Championship semis while Italy,
champions in 1968, are still looking for their first semi-final goal ? at the fourth attempt.
Right, ready for a stat attack? What do you mean no? You know you love it....
And for the opposing view, here is Susie Schaaf on the weapons at Germany coach Joachim Low's disposal with a supremely talented squad to choose from.
Still plenty of time for a spot of pre-match reading with 20 minutes until kick off, so here is our Italy blogger Surmeet Paul, on whether Italy can maintain their formidable run against Germany despite injuries permeating their squad.
I can't wait for this one - Germany with all their progressive, attacking poise against the old masters Italy, who have shown in this tournament they are willing to be far more expansive than the teams that have come before them. After going so long without a 0-0 draw in Euro 2012, we've now had two in a row, hopefully these two will end the drought.
As for Italy, they make just one change as the fit again Georgio Chiellini returns in place of Ignazio Abate. That means De Rossi is fit to take his place and Balotelli and Cassano start up front like they did against England.
The team news is in and Joachim Low has made another surprising change for the match. In for his first start of the tournament comes Toni Kroos. Podolski and Gomez are back as Schurrle, Reus and Klose revert to the bench.
If you are German, and believe in omens, look away now. Italy have never lost to Germany in a competitive game, and have claimed two wins and a draw against them in their friendly matches in the last decade. The last competitive meeting was Italy's 2-0 win in the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup.
The two old titans clash in the second semi-final at Euro 2012. Andrea Pirlo is the heartbeat of this Italian team, while Germany have a formidable poacher called Miroslav Klose in their ranks. Before the action gets under way, why not have a read of our preview here.
Daniele De Rossi
Antonio Di Natale
Antonio Di Natale
Morgan De Sanctis