INNSBRUCK, Austria - David Villa scored three times yesterday in Spain's resounding 4-1 victory over Russia, a win that confirmed the Spaniards as a team to beat in the European Championship.
Despite a steady rain, Villa scored the first hat trick in the tournament since 2000.
Cesc Fabregas also scored for Spain. Russia's goal came from Roman Pavlyuchenko long after things were decided.
Fernando Torres fed the streaking Villa for a right-footed shot in the 20th minute. The striker slid Andres Iniesta's slick pass under goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev for his second in the 44th.
Villa completed his memorable game after dribbling around Roman Shirokov in the 74th minute to shoot past Akinfeev with his right foot. He matched the achievement of Patrick Kluivert of the Netherlands on June 25, 2000, against Yugoslavia, the last hat trick at Euros.
Pavlyuchenko scored with a header in the 86th, and Fabregas got his goal in injury time in the Group D game.
SALZBURG, Austria - Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic found his long-lost scoring touch, and defending champion Greece fell victim to it.
Ibrahimovic had scored no international goals since October 2005 before connecting with a powerful right-footed shot in the 67th minute for his 19th goal for Sweden. Petter Hansson scored five minutes later off a scramble misplayed by the Greek defense.
Set up by forward partner Henrik Larsson on a give-and-go, Ibrahimovic's shot eluded Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis, who threw himself to the right and got a finger on the ball before it sailed into his upper right corner of the goal.
A rebound of a shot by Fredrik Ljungberg deflected off Hansson's body and into the net while two Greece defenders and Nikopolidis desperately tried to clear the ball.