Despite only three days of rest, fatigue was not an issue for the Italians as they rolled past a sluggish German side.
The Ugly -
The backline that showed up for Germany was the one I was afraid to see. Completely unorganized and no communication is what led to both of Italy’s goals. Jerome Boateng was defensively absent. Boateng watched the ball like a spectator as Cassano danced around Hummels, which led to the first goal.
Badstuber, who was marking Balotelli (I’m not sure if you can even call that marking) didn’t even attempt to head the ball, but was more focused on watching Balotelli’s future goal.
I’m at a lost for words for how Germany allowed the second goal, but I will try and muster up a few. I watched in horror as Riccardo Montolivo sailed a ball past the defense and Balotelli furiously chased it down and found the back of the net. So many things went wrong and Azzuri capitalized on the mistakes. The defense was completely out of position (Lahm was on the right flank and he is a left-back), they kept Balotelli onside and were all completely flat-footed.
The Bad -
I have to question Jogi Low on his roster decisions lately. He sent shock waves when he pulled Poldolski, Muller and Gomez out of the line-up when they took on Greece; a risky gamble that paid off handsomely.
Call it arrogance, stupidity or innovative, but starting a holding midfielder as your right winger is absolutely ludicrous. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, play your own game. Start your best team and don’t cater roster changes based on the other team. Germany started Toni Kroos in hopes of holding the Italians and all they did was hold themselves back.
Kroos should have started, but for Bastian Schweinsteiger. Germany’s captain looked lethargic and his touch on the ball was sloppy. He slowed down the attack and was easy to read. A much disciplined German midfield was in complete shambles through out the game.
Gomez’s first half performance was very non-threatening and at times I forgot he was on the field. Klose should have started this game for two reasons: he plays in Serie A and a seasoned player is what you want in a semi-final game.
The Good -
The two stand-outs were Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez. Khedira had a fantastic campaign and was the most impressive midfielder for Germany. Gomez had a good tournament and has a bright future with the national team. Jogi had a deeper bench then what most thought. Germany also had the youngest team in the tournament and will have a strong foundation moving forward.