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U-21: Italy Defeat Germany To Set Up Mouthwatering Semi-Finals

Italy's's Federico Bernardeschi (L), Italy's midfielder Marco Benassi and Italy's defender Daniele Rugani react after Bernardeschi scored a goal during the UEFA U-21 European Championship Group C football match Italy v Germany in Krakow, Poland on June 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
U-21: Italy Defeat Germany To Set Up Mouthwatering Semi-Finals

Aidy Boothroyd’s England will face old rivals Germany in the semi-finals of the Under-21 European Championship.

Federico Bernardeschi’s first half strike was enough to send Italy to the summit of the group on a head-to-head basis leaving the Germans as the best second placed side.

 

And because England topped their group, it means a highly-anticipated semi-final matchup between the two sides next Tuesday.

Germany will feel hard done by having had a goal wrongly ruled out in the opening five minutes.

An in-swinging free-kick was headed in by Marc-Oliver Kempf only to see the offside flag raised on the touchline.

Kempf had timed his run to perfection but it appears the linesman raised his flag because Nicolas Starke was standing in an offside position.

 

Italy started to put pressure on Germany and they were rewarded following a defensive howler.

The Germans tried to play it out from the back but they were outnumbered and a perfectly timed slide tackle allowed Bernardeschi to slot the ball home from close range.

Boothroyd was in the stands watching the action unfold and he would have been keeping a close eye on how to stop his semi-final opponents.

Germany were well off their best and barely tested highly-prized keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in between the sticks.

Knowing another goal could mean Germany may face a shock exit on goal difference, both sides seemed settled to see out the match with just the single goal.

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@alexclapham

An Englishman that is a coach and analyst within the youth academy of a Spanish club whilst studying Sports Coaching. Obsessive over the tactical concepts of the European game, Alex regularly attends games in the La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A.

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