Russia dominated Czech Republic in a 4-1 rout in Group play on Friday. The victory proved that they are the team to beat in Group A.
Alan Dzagoev, 21-year-old midfielder, provided two goals, and Roman Shirokov and Roman Pavlyuchenko each tallied one apiece in a result that mirrored Russia's Euro 2008 opening performance.
Russia played spirited football in 2008. Precision passing, solid tactics and most importantly team chemistry took them to the semifinals before running up against Spain, a team that plays their style better.
Fans were wondering if we would see the same results in 2012, in a weak group accompanied with Greece, Poland and Czech Republic.
Those fans were given their swift and decisive answer of yes.
Russia is legit in 2012, and they are expecting to win the group and make some noise in the knockout stages.
Chemistry goes a long way in tournaments like this. Some teams carry this chemistry, and others can't find it. When a team has this type of chemistry, it's noticeable.
Which team will go further?
Players are free, overlaps are on point, one-touch passes are connecting more often. Russia is clicking on all cylinders right now, and their games prior to Euro 2012 back it up.
Russia has now won 15 straight games, including a 3-0 victory over Italy last Friday and the victory over Czech Republic Friday.
It's all about chemistry.
Eleven of the 23 players on the roster played on the 2008 team, according to Goal.com; seven played in 2004.
Russia has the talented players like Dzagoev, Shirokov and Andrei Arshavin. They have the tactics, and their chemistry may be clicking at an all-time high.
While other people talk about Germany, Spain, Netherlands and England, don't forget about Russia. They are in prime position to do what Greece did in 2004 when they won it all.