Both of these sides entered the tournament with questions surronding them. Spain once again entered as one of the favorates but would they stumble as in the past? Russia had hired the magical Gus Hiddink as coach he got Russia through the qualifiers but would they progress out of the group stage?
Both sides were looking to get their campaigns rolling who would win the opening game in group D?
Spain coach Luis Aragones fielded an attacking formation that paired Fernando Torres and Villa up front, with Marcos Senna preferred to Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso in the holding role and Arsenal star Fabregas on the bench. They really did attack and left Russia for dead with a 2 goal lead at half time with Villa netting both in the 20th and 44th minute. Although they were 2-0 down they did have some first half chances with Konstantin Zyrianov hitting the base of the post of a low shot.
The second half began with Russia looking stronger than they did in the first half attacking well but they just couldn’t score Spain could though and Villa got his hat trick in the 75th minute.
Russia were able to score a consolation goal through Pavluchenko to make it 3-1 but Spain were just too strong with Fabergas netting a header in injury time to win the match 4-1 for the Spaniards. It was quiet a convincing win with Russia not looking like a side that could make it out of the group stage would things change?
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