Pedro hat-trick seals comfortable win

A hat-trick from Pedro and an early strike from Jordi Alba completed an easy win for Spain against Belarus.

As La Roja started the game with six recognised midfielders, it was perhaps no surprise that they dominated possession in the opening exchanges.

It was not 'sterile domination' though, as within 90 seconds, the visitors' almost opened the scoring only for Cesc Fabregas to round Syarhey Veremko in goal, and hit the post.

Vicente Del Bosque's side were then in complete control, and opened the scoring after12 minutes. A flick from Pedro on the edge of the area, went through to Alba, who went round the goalkeeper, and made no mistake rolling it into an empty net.

And things got even worse for Georgy Kondratiev's men just nine minutes later. A delightful pass from David Silva found Pedro, who, from 12 yards, chipped the ball over the onrushing 'keeper to double the lead.

It was becoming a lesson in ball retention from Spain. The home team were virtually camped on the edge of their own area, and had to make do with the odd bursting counter-attack.

That trend continued after the break, with the away team having a monopoly of the ball, and continually looking dangerous in and around the area.

Santi Cazorla and Fabregas both had chances to put the game beyond doubt, but goalscoring opportunities were at a premium, as the hosts’ kept 10 men behind the ball.

They did however, make it 3-0 on 69 minutes. A pass from Xavi went through to Pedro, and the Blaugrana man raced in on goal, before chipping the ball into the back of the net.

The 25-year-old then completed his hat-trick just three minutes later. A square ball from Fabregas found the Masia graduate, and he tapped it in from four yards to complete a memorable night, and take Spain top of Group I.


Belarus 0-4 Spain

Goalscorers: Alba 12 (S), Pedro 21, 69, 72 (S)

Belarus: Veremko; Filipenko, Shitov, Plaskonny, Martynovich; Dragun, Tigorev; Volodko (Kislyak 45), Hleb, Kislyak; Rodionov (Bressan 65)

Spain: Casilla; Arbeloa, Busquets, Ramos (Albiol 70), Alba; Xavi (Villa 76), Xabi Alonso, Cazorla; Pedro, Fabregas, Silva (Iniesta 56)

Tags Alba Pedro Spain
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