Fabio Borini was the hero as Italy booked a final date with Spain in Israel.
When Liverpool splashed out £10.5 million on Italian Fabio Borini last summer it saw Brendan Rodgers reuniting himself with a player he had worked with at both Chelsea and Swansea City.
The forward had just come off the back of a good season with AS Roma in Serie A and Liverpool were more than happy to take them off their hands.
But things have not gone well for Borini in his first season at Anfield.
He originally struggled to adapt to a new wide position under Rodgers and then suffered a broken foot in October that kept him out until 2013.
In February, not long after his return from his foot injury, he dislocated his shoulder against former club Swansea and was ruled out for the rest of the season.
However he did return and even grabbed his first and only league goal of the campaign; bagging the fifth in Liverpool’s 6-0 thrashing of Newcastle United.
Now back to full fitness Borini will be hoping to have a far more productive season at Anfield in 2013-14 with the UEFA European under-21 Championships in Israel a potential slingshot for success.
And he demonstrated what he can but has not always actually done when he bagged the crucial goal in the semi-final victory over The Netherlands tonight.
Borini wriggled away from the last man before tucking the ball beyond the despairing Dutch keeper to knock out a side with an abundance of fully fledged senior internationals among their ranks.
It was certainly a composed and punishing finish; something Liverpool fans did not get to see enough of this season.
Now Borini has to try and get the ball past David De Gea of Manchester United if he is to be the hero against Spain in the final.
But De Gea has not yet conceded; so Borini will have to be at his very best to become the Italian hero.
Here is the goal…
image: © incendio