ST PETERSBURG: Belgium underlined their right to the status as the world game’s No1-ranked football nation by defeating Russia 3-0 in St Petersburg in Group B at UEFA Euro 2020.

Manager Roberto Martinez’s team were without injured Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard but had no problems swatting away their poor, disorganised hosts.

Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring with a mis-hit shot after 10 minutes. This was his 61st goal for his country and his 21st in 19 games for the Red Devils since they finished third at the 2018 World Cup finals back in Russia.

Lukaku raced to a pitchside camera and shouted: “Chris, I love you!” in a message of support to his Internazionale club colleague Christian Eriksen.

Thomas Meunier extended Belgium’s lead in the 34th minute after keeper Anton Shunin failed to hold on to a cross shot. Lukaku wrapped up the scoring two minutes from full-time to become the early instant top scorer of UEFA Euro 2020.