Euro 2008

Qualifying group F

Spain 4 - Liechtenstein 0

Spain: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Sergio Ramos, Pablo, Pernía; Xabi Alonso, Albelda (Oubiña 68'), Cesc (Iniesta 63'); David Villa (Luis García 63'), Fernando Torres, Raúl. 4-3-3.
Liechtenstein: Jehle; Telfer (Fischer 56'), Hasler, Ritter, Maierhofer; Ritzberger, Stocklasa, Martin Buchel, Burgmeir; Thomas Beck (Roger Beck 68'), Mario Frick (Rohrer 87'). 4-4-2.

1-0. 20. Fernando Torres. Turned ball in to net from David Villa square pass.
2-0. 45. David Villa. Picked up loose ball on right of area and shot wide of Jehle.
3-0. 62. David Villa. Drove free kick from left of area low in to far corner of net.
4-0. 65. Luis García. Chested down Pernía cross and struck angled shot into net.

A comfortable win for Spain in their opening European qualifying match, a 4-0 victory against Liechtenstein taking them to the top of their group. Luis Aragonés surprisingly left Xavi and Reyes in the stands, but otherwise put out a side very similar to his World Cup line-ups.

Spain were soon on top, David Villa and Fernando Torres both bringing saves out of Jehle in the opening minutes. And with twenty minutes gone they opened the scoring, Raúl setting Villa off down the left wing for him to cross in for Torres to score.

With a long campaign ahead of them Spain were looking to build up a big score, and Jehle did well to fist a Villa free kick over the bar and then keep out Torres again. But with the first half coming to a close Xabi Alonso won the ball in midfield, and Villa picked up the loose ball and ran on to fire a shot in to the roof of the net.

Liechtenstein did produce a couple of timid attacks, particularly through substitute Fischer. But with just over an hour on the clock Villa got his second of the night with a free kick which he drilled low into the far corner of the net.

Aragonés immediately replaced Cesc and Villa with Iniesta and Luis García, and within three minutes García had his name on the scoresheet with a carbon copy of his Liverpool team-mate Stephen Gerrard's goal for England earlier in the day, chesting down Pernía's cross to leave his marker behind and fire an angled shot wide of the keeper.

That was Spain's 999th goal in international football, and a fervent crowd urged on their side looking for number 1,000. But although Sergio Ramos went close with a header and Torres fired another shot over the bar, their opponents held on. It was not the best of performances and from here on it can only get harder, but for the long suffering Badajoz fans, whose side has just been relegated to the regional third division due to financial problems, it was a night of fun to remember.