Russia delivered a sparkling performance on the opening day of Euro 2012 to put the other contenders on notice that they are capable of going the whole way this time round.
The Russians - made up of a large part of the talented side that reached the semi-finals in 2008 - put four past the Czech Republic in a 4-1 hammering, including a double from impressive young attacking midfielder Alan Zagoev on Friday.
The earlier Group A match had seen co-hosts Poland held 1-1 by Euro 2004 champions Greece in an incident-packed match that saw both sides end the game with 10-men.
Polish replacement 'keeper Przemyslaw Tyton was the co-hosts unlikely saviour as he saved Greek captain Giorgos Karagounis's penalty just seconds after coming on when first choice Wojciech Szczesney was sent off.
For 35-year-old Karagounis it was the flip side of the coin as he had scored in the Euro 2004 opener against hosts Portugal in the surprise win that launched them on their unlikely trip to the title.
However, it was the Russian's stunning display that will have title holders Spain, 2008 finalists Germany and 2010 World Cup finalists Holland sitting up and taking notice.
Zagoev, who has only just regained full fitness after recovering from a broken toe, took the eye but so did the older heads of captain Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko, the latter also getting on the score sheet.
Both had inconsistent spells with English Premier League giants and North London rivals Arsenal and Spurs, though, whilst Pavlyuchenko has made his move back home permanent more displays like this and Arsenal will wish to retain Arshavin's services.
Pavlyuchenko's goal and the fourth for the Russians left the Czechs great goalkeeper Petr Cech looking stunned and puffing out his cheeks at the rare event of him having to pick the ball out of his net so often.