Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Euro 2008 - day 4

A scintillating hat-trick from David Villa gave Spain a clear-cut 4-1 victory over Russia in their first outing at UEFA EURO 2008 and confirmed the immense power of the Valencia CF striker's partnership with Fernando Torres.In a high-quality Group D encounter on Stadion Tivoli Neu, Russia provided moments to indicate that Luis Aragonés's side may still be vulnerable at the back and gained consolation with Roman Pavlyuchenko's 86th-minute header. But Villa's second goal in particular was a stunning team move which may already be one of the goals of the tournament. Only the seventh player in finals history to score three in a game, the 26-year-old's treble was the first in a EURO since Patrick Kluivert's against Yugoslavia eight years ago. Villa then utterly stamped his class on the match, crossing for Xavi Hernández to volley and substitute Cesc Fàbregas to head in the fourth in stoppage time.Sweden's Olof Mellberg was delighted with a "well-deserved win" against Greece at Stadion Salzburg Wals-Siezenheim last night.The imposing defender admitted the 2-0 victory had not been pretty, as Greece frustrated the Swedes until Zlatan Ibrahimović's fantastic goal in the 67th minute. Petter Hansson wrapped up the Group D points with a somewhat less eye-catching, bundled effort five minutes later. "I thought we played really well from start to finish. We defended well and created quite a few chances, so I think it was a well-deserved win in the end," said Mellberg. "Greece also defended well. They tried to keep the ball and it was probably not the best game to watch, especially in the first half, but we did our job against a really strong side."

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