The fairytale run of Russian side in EURO 2008 came to an end when a confident Spain outfit thrashed them to a 3-0 win at Vienna. With goals from Xavi Hernandez, Daniel Guiza and David Silva (all coming in the second half), Luis Aragones’ men overpowered Hiddink’s troops to book a place in the Final at Sienna on Sunday.
It was a complete show by a Spanish side, who barely gave a sniff to the Russians. Spanish defense was summed up by the fact that there was only one shot on goal in the whole game from Hiddink’s men (coming in the last minutes). Russia was barely given an opportunity to enter their opponent’s half in most part of an evening, which was one of the wettest of the tournament.
With lightning and heavy rainfall, both sides had difficulty in maneuvering the ball in the first half. Aragones’ side had several attempts on the goal. However, Igor Akinfeev, the man with the most saves in the tournament, was a wall in front of the goal and the half ended with both sides failing to score. During the half, Spain lost David Villa, top scorer of the tournament, with a muscle injury and Cesc Fabregas came on as a substitute.
Second half saw Spain overawing Russia with Cesc Fabregas & Sergio Ramos playing at rapid pace. The deadlock was broken by Barcelona midfielder, Xavi, who guided Aniesta’s cross past Russian keeper to make it 1-0 in the fifty minutes.
The first goal seemingly killed Russian hopes, as they were playing ordinary football. Fabregas used this to his advantage and assisted the next two goals. His excellent crosses to substitute Daniel Guiza (73rd minute) and David Silva (82nd minute) were both successful and helped Spain to tame Russia once again by a 3 goal margin.
Spain will now be playing against Germany at this same venue on Sunday. They will be looking forward to repeat this heroic and bid farewell to their manager Luis Aragones in a Royal manner.