Villa nets a hattrick as Spain ease past Russia

Valencia striker David Villa hit a phenomenal hattrick this afternoon, as Spain recorded a convincing 4-1 victory over Guus Hiddink’s Russian side in their opening Group D game.

David Villa celebrates his hattrick in typically cool fashion

Russia started pretty well, but were undone just 20 minutes in after a Spainsh break was rounded off by Villa, rolling in a pass from strike partner Fernando Torres.

However Russia were not giving up yet as Konstantin Zyryanov was denied only by the post.

Spain rallied towards the end of half time though, with Villa adding a second in the 45th minute.

Villa capped off his hattrick with a great disguised finish with 15 minutes to go, but not before Fernando Torres had been taken off in exchange for Fabregas in the 54th minute. Hailed as a somewhat odd decision by coah Aragones, Torres did not look pleased that he had been ushered off in favour of the Arsenal star.

However, he looked happy enough when Villa rushed over to embrace him after completing his 3-goal haul.

At this point the game looked over, but Russia showed some resistance in the later stages, troubling Spain with a series of corners. One of them proved fruitful, with Pavluchenko directing a header past Casillas from a corner with just 4 minutes to go.

Pavluchenko nods past Casillas to cause a late scare

Although forcing another corner and another Casillas save after this, Russia were once again caught on the counter attack with Fabregas adding a fourth with a diving header following a parry by Russian ‘keeper Akinfeev.

A great performance from Spain, then. However, as always with Spain, one must be cautious as they started the 2006 World Cup in similar vain, smashign 4 past Ukraine. Aragones’ side was still upended prematurely in that tournament, going out to France in the second round. Spanish fans will be hoping that their side can do better this time.

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