From Russia with Love, or certainly it was at least for the tournament hosts in the World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia.

The lowest-ranked side in the competition defied their ranking with a comprehensive win over a poor Saudi side.

Goals from Iury Gazinsky, two from Denis Cheryshev and a strike each from Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin saw Stanislav Cherchesov begin their campaign with victory in Group A.

Sportsmail columnists MARTIN KEOWN, JAMIE REDKNAPP AND CHRIS SUTTON provide their verdicts on that encounter…

Russia got off to the perfect World Cup start after thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opener

Russia got off to the perfect World Cup start after thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opener

Russia got off to the perfect World Cup start after thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opener

MARTIN KEOWN

Saudi Arabia were very average. After that performance, you’d have to wonder whether the best 32 teams are at this World Cup. I thought Russia would struggle but they embraced having the weight of a nation on their shoulders.

Saudi Arabia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi cut a crestfallen figure as his side were thumped 5-0

Saudi Arabia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi cut a crestfallen figure as his side were thumped 5-0

Saudi Arabia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi cut a crestfallen figure as his side were thumped 5-0

JAMIE REDKNAPP

Mo Salah, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will be licking their lips after watching Russia cut loose against Saudi Arabia. They will feel they have a great chance of winning the Golden Boot. Russia played with nothing to lose and got their reward.

Saudi Arabia face the daunting task of Luis Suarez next when they play Uruguay on Wednesday

Saudi Arabia face the daunting task of Luis Suarez next when they play Uruguay on Wednesday

Saudi Arabia face the daunting task of Luis Suarez next when they play Uruguay on Wednesday

CHRIS SUTTON

Russia’s emphatic victory is a good omen for England. Russian fans I’ve been speaking to have been very negative about their team but the lack of pressure helped them thrive. I hope England will benefit from lowered expectations, too.

Russian fans enjoyed themselves on Thursday as their side broke their low expectations

Russian fans enjoyed themselves on Thursday as their side broke their low expectations

Russian fans enjoyed themselves on Thursday as their side broke their low expectations

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