Malaga's marvellous Champions League debut
Malaga began their first UEFA Champions League campaign in perfect fashion as two stunning goals from Isco guided them to a 3-0 win over Zenit St. Petersburg at Estadio La Rosaleda in Group C play.
Under three minutes in the Spain Under-21 international bent a shot in off the inside of the post and the hosts were in dreamland when Javier Saviola slid home a second 10 minutes later.
Zenit then missed a host of opportunities to get back into the game, with Russia pair Roman Shirokov and Alexander Kerzhakov the main culprits, and their miserable evening was capped off when Isco thumped in a third from outside the area with 14 minutes remaining.
Hulk made his Champions League debut for the Russian side after completing his £32m move from Porto two weeks ago, but it was Malaga's strikeforce that started on fire as they scored twice within the opening 13 minutes.
First, Isco produced a dazzling piece of skill as he received Eliseu's pass on the left side of the area and cut inside before curling an effort in off the inside of the post.
Hulk nearly responded immediately with a thunderous effort of his own that cannoned back off the underside of the bar, but the hosts continued to overrun their opponents with their intelligent movement and they doubled their advantage when Francisco Portillo released Jesus Gamez and his cross was converted by Saviola.
The Argentinian could even have extended Malaga's lead when he sent a snap shot just wide from another Gamez cross before Vyacheslav Malafeev made a brave stop to deny the former Barcelona striker.
However, as the half progressed the Russian champions grew into the game and could have reduced the arrears on a number of occasions before half-time. Willy Caballero did well to divert the ball away from Victor Fayzulin when he burst into the area before the keeper produced two wonderful saves to firstly hold Shirokov's header before clawing away a dragged left-footed effort from Kerzhakov at his near post.
Both men came close again either side of half-time when another Shirokov header flashed inches past the post whilst Kerzhakov fired into the side netting.
Malaga, though, remained a threat on the break and should have made sure of all three points when Eliseu was released through on goal, but he shot straight at Malafeev and Joaquin pulled the rebound wide.
Caballero was then called on to produce his heroics once more as he denied Kerzhakov a certain goal with a diving save at his feet.
But any tension among the home fans was extinguished when Isco produced another moment of quality when he received Joaquin's pass 20 yards from goal and flashed a right-footed shot into Malafeev's top left-hand corner.