After two consecutive draws, Russia rounded off their UEFA EURO 2012 preparations with an impressive 3-0 win against Italy in Zurich.
Both teams fielded strong lineups with the finals, which start a week today, firmly on their minds. Russia's clinical edge was the difference, however, and a second-half strike from Aleksandr Kerzhakov, followed by two from Roman Shirokov, concluded a commanding performance.
If anyone expected a slow-paced encounter they were soon mistaken as Italy burst into life with some slick, stylish interplay. The Azzurri came forward at a blistering pace and their early intent almost conjured a breakthrough, only for Daniele De Rossi to stab Antonio Cassano's deft centre narrowly wide.
Andrea Pirlo was proving a wily presence in midfield and his sumptuous chip set up Mario Balotelli moments later. The Manchester City FC forward looked set to find the net after an immaculate first touch, but his stinging half-volley was beaten away by the onrushing Vyacheslav Malafeev.
Dick Advocaat's charges soon negotiated an intricate move of their own as Kerzhakov found the outside of a post with a left-footed volley, before Shirokov blazed over from close range.
Cesare Prandelli's side maintained their fluid approach after the break, although composure continued to elude them as Pirlo drove wide and Cassano inexplicably misfired from point-blank range. Russia wasted no time in punishing their opponents, breaking the deadlock on the hour. Shirokov received the ball inside the area and teed up Kerzhakov, who fired past substitute goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.
The provider turned goalscorer on 76 minutes, Shirokov latching on to De Sanctis's skewed clearance and rolling the ball into the empty net. The FC Zenit St Petersburg midfielder doubled his tally with a header two minutes from time.