German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer believes his team was the better side and deserved to advance to the semifinals.Neuer came up big to deny Bonucci and then Matteo Darmian, with Jonas Hector slotting the winning penalty in a shootout that saw seven players fail to find the net.“I have never experienced a shootout like this. I think most of the Italians just aimed into the middle,” Neuer said.“The 1-1 score we conceded during regular time was a bit unlucky. But I believe we were the better side and are deservedly through to the semifinals.” It was first time the reigning world champions defeated Italy in a major tournament.“It was something special to have so many penalty-takers, such drama! We did not manage to beat Italy in 90 minutes. We did not beat Italy in 120 minutes,” the Bayern Munich goalie said. “Then this shootout just fitted that duel between Italy and Germany. It wasn’t that easy. It was a war of nerves,” Neuer added.

Big blow

Germany received a big blow ahead of the semifinals as central defender Mats Hummels remained suspended after seeing two yellow cards, while midfielder Sami Khedira and striker Mario Gomez could also miss through injury