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Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 20:58 UK
Spain 4-1 Russia



Cesc Fabregas scored his first goal in Spain's colours

Spain coach Luis Aragones praised his strikeforce of David Villa and Fernando Torres after his side's comprehensive 4-1 win over Russia at Euro 2008.

Villa scored the first hat-trick of the tournament with Torres setting up his first as the pair showed they will be a tough proposition for their rivals.

"When I think of Villa, it's a name that makes me think of scoring," said Aragones after the Group D opener.

"Villa is a brilliant player but so is Torres when he's got space."

Spain emerged as comfortable winners but Aragones refused to get carried away and saw room for improvement.

And Russian coach Guus Hiddink also warned Spain they would not win the tournament if they kept on relying on the counter-attack.

Konstatin Zyryanov hit the post for Russia at 1-0 down before Spain went on to win in convincing fashion.

"The 4-1 win seems easy but it was definitely not, because our opponents are in good physical shape and it was certainly tough," said the 69-year-old.

606: DEBATE

"We opened the scoring but we were fortunate when they could have drawn level.

"We faced a difficult team that was in excellent physical shape, but after going 2-0 up we started playing with greater ease, we dominated the pitch and continued scoring."

Valencia forward Villa hit back at doubters of the camaraderie in the Spanish camp after the game as he also paid tribute to Torres.

"There's a lot of talk from outside about whether or not the squad is united," he said.

"I don't agree with all this talk."

He added: "I wanted to dedicate that third one to him because I owed him something for the first two.

"He made the first one and his run opened up the space for (Andres) Iniesta to make a pass."

Torres was taken off after 54 minutes and Aragones played down any injury concerns over the Liverpool forward.

"There was no injury whatsoever," confirmed the Spain boss. "Torres has had a long tough season, he will be a very important player for us.

"But at that point we needed more strength in the centre of midfield.

"He was a very important player in helping Villa score the first goal and he made it tough for our opponents."


Group D
18 June 2008 21:40
    P GD PTS
1 Spain 3 5 9
2 Russia 3 0 6
3 Sweden 3 -1 3
4 Greece 3 -4 0

see also
Spain team guide
15 May 08 |  Spain
Russia team guide
15 May 08 |  Russia


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