Euro 2008

Spain 4 - Russia 1

A hat-trick from David Villa helped Spain to a 4-1 victory against Russia in the opening game of the Euro 2008 championships. The Valencia striker opened the scoring midway through the first half after Fernando Torres battled through to set him up, and added a second on the stroke of half time, running on to an Inesta through ball to turn a shot underneath keeper Akinfeev.

Zyrianov hit the post in between though, and after some early pressure from Guus Hiddinck's side after the break, Aragonés replaced Torres with Cesc Fábregas to revert to his favoured 4-1-4-1 formation. After that the East Europeans were given the run-around, and Villa got Spain's third after picking up a pass from Fábregas on another quick counter-attack.

With two minutes to go Pavlyuchenko headed one back for the Russians following a corner, but with the game already in injury time Fábregas headed his first goal for his country after the keeper could only parry a fierce volley from Xavi. Once again a great start, but let's hope they can keep it up this time around. (10.06.08)