A scintillating hat-trick from David Villa gave Spain a clear-cut 4-1 victory over Russia in their first outing at Euro 2008 and confirmed the immense power of the Valencia striker's partnership with Fernando Torres.
Group D - Matchday 1
SPAIN 4-1 RUSSIA
Tivoli Neu Stadion, Innsbruck
David Villa scored the first hat-trick of Euro 2008 as Spain lived up to their pre-tournament billing with a fine victory over Russia in Group D. Russia started positively but were hit on the counter-attack, with Fernando Torres squaring for Villa to roll home. Konstantin Zyryanov saw a shot hit the post but then Villa prodded past Igor Akinfeyev to double the lead and after 74 minutes he drilled in a third. Roman Pavlyuchenko nodded a consolation before Cesc Fabregas headed a fourth. Spain wasted a number of openings to win by an even bigger margin and the standard of their performance would suggest a place in the quarter-finals is well within reach.
Spain play Sweden on Saturday, while Russia will need a victory against European champions Greece.
Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Marchena, Puyol, Capdevila, Silva (Alonso 77), Senna, Xavi, Iniesta (Santi Cazorla 63), Villa, Torres (Fabregas 54).
Russia: Akinfeev, Aniukov, Shirokov, Kolodin, Zhirkov, Sychev (Bystrov 46), Zyryanov, Semak, Semshov (Torbinsky 57), Bilyaletdinov, Pavluchenko, Bystrov (Adamov 70).
[Euro 2008 Group D]