The 2012 European Championship is now drawing to a close and will be keeping you regularly updated with the progress of the Gunners taking part in the tournament.

Lukas Podolski

UEFA EURO 2012 - Per Mertesacker

Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker
Germany 1-2 Italy
Thursday, June 28

Arsenal's representation at Euro 2012 is over after Germany suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat to Italy on Thursday.

The Germans have never beaten Italy at a major tournament and that run was extended to eight matches by an impressive Italy side.

The Azzurri made their opportunities count in the first half and edged ahead after 20 minutes when Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli headed home from Antonio Cassano's excellent cross.

The opener sparked the tie into life but it was the Italians who took full advantage of an open encounter. Moments after Gianluigi Buffon had pulled off a fine save from Sami Khedira, Balotelli latched onto Riccardo Montolivo's ball over the top before firing an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

Lukas Podolski, who will now join his new Arsenal team-mates after Germany's exit, returned to the starting line-up after missing the quarter-final victory over Greece. Defender Per Mertesacker did not play.

Versatile forward Podolski was quiet in a poor German first half and was replaced by Marco Reus in a double substitution from Joachim Löw at the break.

The second period was a quieter affair as Germany struggled to break down a resilient Italian side while Antonio di Natale squandered one of many chances to put the tie to bed.

Mesut Ozil converted a stoppage-time penalty for Germany but in the end it mattered little. Italy will be heading to Kiev's Olympic Stadium to face Spain on Sunday.

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28 Jun 2012