A Mario Balotelli header and a thumping drive had Italy leading Germany 2-0 at half-time on Thursday in their Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw.
Balotelli headed in on 20 minutes after a superlative piece of skill and cross from Antonio Cassano, who out-foxed two defenders before delivering the striker his chance on a plate.
Sami Khedira brought a fine save out of Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian goal at the other end as the Germans tried to respond.
But on 36 minutes Balotelli produced a scintillating second, smashing home from just outside the box after beating the offside trap after a Riccardo Montolivo through ball played him into acres of space.
Balotell removed his shirt and stood stock still to milk the applause - taking the resulting booking as a minor irritation.
Italian forward Mario Balotelli (R) scores in the nets of German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the Euro 2012 football championships semi-final match Germany vs Italy on June 28, 2012 at the National Stadium in Warsaw. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS