On a night when Xavi won his 100th international cap and David Villa became the nation's all-time record goalscorer, Spain overcame the Czech Republic to extend their lead in the Euro 2012 qualification.
A cautious and predictable opening to the first period saw Spain dominate possession and a defensive Czech Republic side stick men behind the ball. It was just a case of being patient before the home team forged a chance; widespread confusion then spread when Plasil let fly with a sweet strike in the 29th minute to put the visiting Czechs ahead.
The appearance of an opposition player in the Spanish half had been rare indeed, a shot on goal had seemed wishful thinking so to take the lead was close to miraculous. It is doubtful that Michal Bilek had a team talk prepared in the event that his side were beating the World Champions but sadly for the neutral, this Spanish side doesn't really do fairytales.
A second-half, three-minute double salvo from David Villa put Spain ahead and established the Barcelona forward as the nation's most prolific goal machine. A drilled low shot followed by a confidently converted penalty handed Villa goals 45 and 46, leaving him two clear of the legendary Raúl, and Spain happily atop Group I.
Unfortunately, the following match, away in Lithuania, was not one for the football purist. Seeing that the game was played on a "potato patch", it would have been more appropriate to have had jumpers for goalposts and two random captains pick teams. However, despite the amateur conditions, Del Bosque's side managed to do a professional job and come away with all three points.
An hour in and 1-1 was how it stood. Xavi's opener was cancelled out by an unstoppable effort by Valencia's Stankevicius before an injection of class from the Spanish bench proved decisive. Super-sub Juan Mata had a cross deflected in for an unfortunate own goal before he sealed the win on 83 minutes with a calm finish.
Players returning to their respective La Liga clubs will have games as normal this coming weekend. The Madrid Court of Appeal has ruled against the proposed strike for the 30th round matches, meaning they will go ahead as scheduled on April 2nd and 3rd. A postponement had looked inevitable due to an ongoing row over TV revenue.