Italian Job Well Done


Chris Gaynor
Astonishing, mesmerising and downright entertaining is the only way to describe the semi-final World Cup show-down between Italy   and host nation   Germany. It was a match that had class, sportsmanship and true grit - If only England could play like that.

The dogged Italians never gave up and outwitted the sometimes lacklustre German team who were like England, expecting a penalty shoot out! And had that penalty shoot out come, we would have most  been thinking the Italians would be on a plane back to shoe country.

That is the delight of watching Italy - almost as frustrating a  side as England but nethertheless, entertaining and when it mattered they turned up the heat! BELLA.

Two goals within a space of two minutes tells you this team did not want penalties - they were going for Gold - Germany had to settle for silver - and the look on some of the faces, including Michael Ballack shows you that anything less will be deemed failure.

German coach Jurgen Klinsmann was thrashing around like a mad dog whereas coach Marcello Lippi was cool, calm and collected.

This loss for the Germans is almost as dissappointing as England's loss on Saturday, and the inevit\able wise-after-the-event   inquests came out in the press about what happened.

For Italy, their success has greatly boosted the team's confidence as they go into the final with the French conquerers of Portugal, spearheaded by the ageless ace Zinedine Zidane and nimble Thierry Henry. Italy's triumph on the World Cup stage has   overshadowed the turmoil and shambolic state of football back home, as reported in Phil Simms's excellent World Cup Blog on The-Latest.

For once I have found myself shouting 'come on you blues' not of the Chelsea variety. I confess that I've always had a soft spot for Italy.

Now it's time to bring out the Peroni and the Pizza.