European Championship

June 10, 2008



4 - 1


Group D

16:00 +00:00, June 10, 2008

Tivoli Neu Stadium, Austria

Referee: Konrad Plautz

Game 7

  • 94'

    There is the whistle, and a great start for Spain. David Villa is the star with his three goals but they got out of jail a little in the second half after their sluggish start. But with class oozing throughout the team they can go far. Stay tuned for Greece Sweden...

  • 93'

    And to think this Russian shambles are there because they knocked England out. My word we must have been truly terrible. Thanks Steve McClaren - you clown.

  • 92'

    Good on Cesc Fabregas for getting his goal - he's been good since he came on. Big dilemma for Aragones ahead of the next game eh?

  • 91'

    A couple of added minutes to play...

  • 90'

    Villa broke clear, seemed to wait an age for support then loftyed a lovely ball for Xavi. His volley was saved by Akinfeev but Fabregas was there to nod home from two yards and make absolutely sure of an opening win for Spain.

  • 90'

    GOAL! Fabregas seals the win!

  • 89'

    Chance for Russia! The ball broke out to Semak and his lofted ball found Adamov but his shot was weak and right at Casillas.

  • 88'

    A lively break from Russia as Bilyaletdinov slides in Pavluchenko. His cross is blocked by Marchena and Russia have another corner.

  • 88'

    Its still hammering it down by the way - luckily the pitch still looks in tact.

  • 87'

    Unbelievable. David Villa is found in the box by Cazorla in FIVE YARDS of space! So, Russian defenders. Are you bothered about marking the man who's already got a hat-trick? No? Anybody? No? Well, you deserve all you get then.

  • 86'

    By the way, our technology decided not to publish my 79th minute rant that started with a mention of David villa. So here it is in its entirety. Please bear in mind Russia have scored since.

  • 85'

    Pavluchenko nods home from close range after Shirokov's header came to him three yards out. Some pride for Russia!

  • 85'

    GOAL! Russia score!

  • 84'

    The game is petering out, with very little to report.

  • 83'


  • 82'

    Adamov wins a free kick off Marchena. Can Russia at least get a goal?

  • 81'

    Pavluchenklo has a pop that briefly reminds us he is still on the pitch but it goes wide of the post.

  • 79'

    Unbelievable. David Villa is found in the box by Cazorla in FIVE YARDS of space! So, Russian defenders. Are you bothered about marking the man who's already got a hat-trick? No? Anybody? No? Well, you deserve all you get then.

  • 78'

    I'm very surprised at the manner of Russia's capitulation. The way they have nosedived is inexplicable given the stature of their coach. Guus does not look HP.

  • 77'

    This could be four of five if Spain are bothered.

  • 76'

    Xavi Alonso is on for Silva, who has had a decent game.

  • 75'

    What a day for David Villa. He's been superb today - Kolodin and Shirokov have pooped their pants every time he's got the ball.

  • 74'

    Quality finish from Villa. Fabregas slips him in through the left channel and he spins inside Shirokov before blasting it low past Akinfeev. Superb. Game, well and truly, over

  • 74'

    GOAL! Villa has his hat-trick!

  • 73'

    Russia are down and out here. They had a break on but Bilyaletdinov saw fit to hit the ball out of play to no-one.

  • 72'

    Spain have completely overplayed that, shuffling the ball this way and that on the edge of the box before Silva finally hits it. Way over the bar I might add.

  • 71'

    Bystrov didn't look injured - or particularly unhappy - by his removal. Maybe he said something nasty about Guus which got back to the Russian boss?

  • 70'

    Russia change. Half time substitute Bystrov is coming off after only 24 minutes on the pitch! Adamov replaces him.

  • 69'

    Kolodin gets bored with the plodding nature of Russia's approach play and has a wildly ambitious pop from 40 yards which breaks for Pavluchenko but his shot is blocked by Marchena.

  • 68'

    Ooh, double chance for Spain! Akinfeev parries Senna's firm header from the corner, then Silva cracks in a sweet volley which the Russian keeper clutches gratefully.

  • 67'

    Spain break downfield and Ramos fires in a low cross which would have allowed Villa his hat-trick had Shirokov not slid in. Corner.

  • 66'

    A bit of controversy as the referee denies Pavluchenko a clear free kick before the linesman keeps his flag down at the other end when Villa was a yard off. Nowt came of it though.

  • 65'

    Fabregas has a run through on goal but Akinfeev is out to nip the ball of his toes smartly.

  • 64'

    This is sluggish from Spain. It looks like they've completely switched off. Not that the Russians are finding the space to punish them for it though.

  • 63'

    Zhirkov looks like a decent player, although he's far better going forward than at the back. Much of the Russian attacking spark has come from him this afternoon.

  • 62'

    Another substitution; Iniesta is off and Santi Cazorla is on.

  • 61'

    half an hour for the Russians to grab themselves a point, or better...

  • 60'

    Cracking Spanish move. Xavi and Silva swap passes but Zhirkov gets there in the nick of time as the winger shaped to shoot.

  • 59'

    Nice work from Torbinsky allows Bilyaletdinov a chance to strike but his effort is poor. And wide. And weak.

  • 58'

    Villa has a chance to pot his third as a wonderful Fabregas run opens up the space for him. His shot from 18 yards is well held by Akinfeev though.

  • 57'

    Russia change, Dmitri Torbinsky replaces Semshov.

  • 56'

    Well done Marcos Senna - he sticks out a leg as Zhirkov looked to play in Semak after Sergio Ramos had dawdled on the ball. Spain have started pretty sloppily so far.

  • 55'

    Villa does well to win a header but his lay off to Fabregas is a tad overhit.

  • 54'

    Spain are going to try and out-Russia Russia here, sitting deep and letting the opposition come on to them, playing on the breakaway. That's what you call a proper role reversal innit?

  • 53'

    Fabregas is coming on for Torres as Spain revert to five in midfield.

  • 52'

    A bit more joy - and space - for the Russians at the beginning of the second perios. Semak again crosses but Bilyaletdinov is on his heels and the ball flashes past him.

  • 51'

    The corner was well worked, short, to Semak who swung in a cross for Bystrov to meet but his header was right at Casillas. Either side of the Spanish keeper and the Russians would have a goal back.

  • 50'

    Zhirkov wins a free kick on the left wing but Puyol rises to head clear. Then Bystrov finds room in the area but can only find Puyol again when he tries to cross. Corner.

  • 49'

    Villa looks for Torres but Kolodin intercepts. I'm amazed he's still on the field to be honest, after his shocker in the first half.

  • 48'

    Bystrov tries to make an immediate impact down the right. He edges past Capdevila but the ball runs out for a Spanish goal kick.

  • 48'

    Zhirkov charges down the right and beats Ramos but delays his pass for Semak and allows Marchena to cover. Throw.

  • 47'

    Change for Russia, Valdimir Bystrov is on for Sychev - who had a pretty poor opening half. A like for like change, like.

  • 46'

    Can the Russians salvage something? We're about to find out...

  • 45'

    Russia have been their own worst enemy in this half. They've had decent chances but just looked completely bewildered by the pace of Torres and Villa. They had a free kick then and made a right hash of it, allowing Spain to break and slot their second. And that's half time..

  • 44'

    That should be game over. Capdevila brought the ball clear from Russia's woeful free kick, gave it to Iniesta, he waited for a bit of movement before sliding the ball outside of Kolodin for Villa to tuck it under Akinfeev and put the seal on a smashing half for Spain.

  • 44'

    GOAL! Villa has his second. What a break!

  • 43'

    A much better passage of play from Russia this - they have looked sparky when they break quickly. Puyol gets a toe in there to turn Semshov's pass to Pavluchenko behind for a corner.

  • 42'

    Pavluchenko's free kick hits the wall, and when it comes back to him he lets rip with a left foot volley which hits the bar! Oh, the ref had blown for a foul before that though. Imagine my surprise.

  • 41'

    Hiddink will be lobbing china everywhere at half time I feel. His side have been sluggish and plodding at the back. Having said that, its still only 1-0 and Zhirkov has just won a free kick wide on the left.

  • 40'

    Villa handles Xavi's pass, which is shame because he was through on goal if he'd have taken it cleanly.

  • 39'

    A whiff of an opening for Pavluchenko but the flag is up immediately after Semshov's fizzed pass put him in sight of goal.

  • 38'

    Indecision from Russia as the corner breaks on the penalty spot, Semshov finally whacks clear.

  • 37'

    More classic work from Torres, he gets the ball down the channel and completely outwits Kolodin before slotting a ball to Villa but his shot is blocked behind for a corner.

  • 36'

    The game is sagging a little here. Maybe the weather is taking its toll on some heavy legs but neither side want to retain the ball at present.

  • 35'

    Russia's back pairing look petrified of Torres whenever he gets the ball. Come on lads, he's only human.

  • 33'

    Russia enjoy some possession but have few options up the field, the move resulting in a punt from Shirokov that goes all the way through to Casdillas.

  • 32'

    Decent work from Zurianov to win the ball from Puyol but he hasn't got a right foot so delayed the chance to get it on his left. It didn't work.

  • 31'

    Kolodin strokes a ball over the top but Zurianov is flagged offside. That was close, Capdevila was lagging behind his centre halves and was actually playing Zurianov on.

  • 30'

    Good work from Zhirkov earns Russia a corner but Senna can clear at the near post with ease after an awful delivery from, errr, yes Zhirkov again. Darn Russian names....

  • 29'

    The referee has penalised Villa for nicking the ball of Aniukov because his studs were raised ever so slightly. Pathetic. Never a foul.

  • 28'

    Kolodin rises to head Xavi's corner to safety and Spain build from the back again.

  • 27'

    A long spell of possession ends with a Senna ball to Villa inside the area. He gets his shot off and wins a corner.

  • 26'

    The goal has settled Spain right down - they are stroking the ball around confidently now.

  • 25'

    Bilyaletdinov shimmies in midfield and hits a right footed shot but Casillas is down at his near post to smother it.

  • 24'

    Another chance for Torres who has the beating of Kolodin here. He nips out to pick up the ball, dummies, then fires in a shot which Akinfeev parries away from danger.

  • 23'

    Then Spain break clear and Torres manages to get to Xavi's through ball just before the keeper but his clipped effort is wide of the post! A cracking start to the game!

  • 22'

    Russia have hit the post! Sychev got to the byline but mishit his cross and for some reason two or three people missed it before Zurianov smashed it against the post with Casillas beaten!

  • 21'

    What a shame for Russia. They had been on top for the last five minutes but Kolodin's lack of pace showed in his sprint race with Torres. He should have booted that out of play first chance he got.

  • 20'

    Torres scampered to close down Kolodin, got a foot in which took him clean through then squared the ball for Villa to tap into an open net as Akinfeev had committed himself. Superb play from Torres.

  • 20'

    GOAL! Torres creates a goal for David Villa and Spain are off and running!

  • 18'

    But with Torres around they always have an outlet and he wins a corner to relieve the pressure somewhat.

  • 17'

    Spain are looking a little wobbly here. They are struggling to break the Russians down - they are being offered no width at all - and are all over the shop at the back.

  • 16'

    This is a good spell for Russia, Semshov finds Aniukov, he cuts it back for Sychev in space eight yards out but his shot is screwed wide. They've come to life!

  • 15'

    More threat from the Russians as Zhirkov finds Pavluchenko but his ball is cut out by Puyol.

  • 14'

    Zurianov misreads the situation and hits the ball out of play when Aniukov had made a lovely run inside Marchena.

  • 12'

    Silva cuts and hits a shot but it dribbles through to Akinfeev.

  • 11'

    Another petty foul given by the ref - he obviously thinks football is a non-contact sport. Its a matter of time before he starts flashing cards.

  • 10'

    Our first glimpse of Pavluchenko and it was awful. He was released on the left but dawdled so he could come in on his right foot, then unloaded an abysmal pass right to Sergio Ramos. He got a second chance to cross too and hit it straight out of play.

  • 9'

    Russia have been pretty poor in possession so far. Maybe that is due to the exuberance of youth seeing as they are the youngest side in the competition.

  • 8'

    Ramos then picks out Villa with a lovely, lofted diagonal ball - the striker takes it down well but executes his lob poorly. A good chance by his standards.

  • 7'

    The first sight of goal from Torres who beats Kolodin with ease on the left. He cuts in and works space for a shot but drags his right footed effort wide of the near post.

  • 6'

    Already the referee has got two things wrong and insists on whistling for less than innocuous fouls. That bodes well eh?

  • 5'

    Now Spain win a free kick at the other end in similar postion. Xavi whips it in and Villa's strange backward diving header allows Shirokov to clear.

  • 4'

    Casillas flapped at Semshov's free kick and missed, luckily for him there was no white shirt at the back post to capitalise.

  • 3'

    Russia force the first free kick but rahter waste it. Sergio Ramos boots the ball out for a throw in on the right, then Senna gives away another free kick after a tug on Zhirkov.

  • 2'

    Hopefully the torrential rain will give us a slick, open game. The ball is zipping around off the turf at ferocious pace already...

  • 1'

    We're off...


    The anthems are currently being belted out, its belting down with rain in Innsbruck, so let's hope for a belter of a game...


    In many ways Spain are very similar to England. Blessed with immense talent but perennial under-achievers in major tournaments. As ever, they have the personnel to win it - Torres, Villa, Xavi, Fabregas - to name but a few, but can they handle the pressure this time around?


    Pavel Pogrebnyak and Andrei Arshavin are the big misses for Russia, but at least Roman Pavlyuchenko is available. He popped up with two goals against England in qualifying, marking the beginning of the long, drawn-out end for Steve McClaren but I'll stop there or I'll still be midway through my bitter rant about the wally with the brolly by the time kick off comes around.


    The doddery, not to mention controversial, Aragones pits his wits against wily veteran Guus Hiddink today; just the mere mention of that man's name is enough to know his team, whoever he may be in charge of at the time, are not to be underestimated.


    So, the rumours were true! Premier League sensation Cesc Fabregas is on the bench. Well I never. Still, when you've got a midfield comprising Xavi, Iniesta, Senna and Silva its hard to argue with senile old duffer and coach Luis Aragones ain't it?


    And Russia: Akinfeev, Aniukov, Shirokov, Kolodin, Zhirkov, Sychev, Zyryanov, Semak, Semshov, Bilyaletdinov and Pavluchenko. Subs from: Gabulov, Vasili Berezutsky, Yanbaev, Ignashevich, Alexei Berezutsky, Bystrov, Torbinsky, Ivanov, Saenko, Adamov and Malafeev.


    The teams, starting with Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Marchena, Puyol, Capdevila, Silva, Senna, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa and Torres. Subs from: Palop, Albiol, Fernando Navarro, Juanito, Arbeloa, Alonso, De la Red, Fabregas, Santi Cazorla, Guiza, Sergio Garcia and Reina.


    Good afternoon world and welcome to our first glimpse of many people's tip for the tournament - not to mention 'big Billy bottlers' - Spain. They are up against dark horses Russia and all the action is live from 1700BST with me Chris Murphy.


    First up on Tuesday is Spain vs Russia in the opening game in Group D. Join us for all the action - Kick-off at 5pm UK time.