Spain crush Russia in Euro-2008

Russia have been defeated by Spain in their opening match of the European Championships in Innsbruck. The game ended 4-1 to the Spaniards, with David Villa claiming a hat-trick.

It was a day that began bright and full of hope, but like the many ski slopes in Innsbruck it was soon heading downhill.

For twenty minutes the crowd watched in suspense until David Villa put Spain ahead. Then just before half time he got Spain’s second.

Yet Russian fans remained optimistic.

“They need time to warm up. Two goals is nothing yet. We think Russia will win,”  said one of them at half-time.
 
This wasn’t what Russian fans had been hoping for, and they’d get worse as Spain scored again to make it 3-0 – Villa again.

A Roman Pavluchenko goal gave Russia some hope, but the comeback was not to be, and Fabregas got a fourth for Spain near the end.

Some fans were critical of the team's defending, while others put the scoreline down to Russia being short of luck.

However, many fans are still optimistic. After all, it was known beforehand that Spain were likely to provide the toughest test in the group, and now wins in their next two games would still see Russia into the quarter-finals.

Their next game is against reigning champions Greece on Saturday – a match Russia must win to keep hopes alive.