Germany Vs. Italy, Euro 2012 Semifinals: Pirlo Clears Off Line

Contrary to what we were expecting, which was for Germany to keep their usual shape and focus on beating Italy wide, Joachim Loew has set out his side in a 4-3-3 here with three fairly deep central midfielders and Mesut Ozil on the right. It's working well enough so far, and both Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger have done a good job shutting down the Italy centre in the early stages. That said, their shape leaves Andrea Pirlo worryingly free.

Pirlo, however, is contributing on the defence more than the attack so far, with a silly error from Gianluigi Buffon allowing Mats Hummels to poke a shot towards the Italy net. The Juventus midfielder was on hand to save his team, however, clearing off the line with his chest and allowing Buffon to grab. That really would have been a goal out of nothing.

We have live coverage of the match in our Germany vs. Italy, Euro 2012 Semifinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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