Xabi Alonso marked his 100th appearance for Spain by scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory over France.
The win was Spain's first ever against their opponents in seven competitive games and sets up a Euro 2012 semi-final against Portugal.
Spain looked in the mood from the start at the Donbass Arena and Alonso even attempted to lob Hugo Lloris from around 40 yards, but the back-peddling keeper saved.
Lloris (19) could do nothing to stop Alonso's downward header finding the corner of the net though, after Andres Iniesta played a pass inside Mathieu Debuchy for Jordi Alba, who delivered a deep cross from the left flank.
Iker Casillas had to be alert to turn a 25-yard free-kick from Yohan Cabaye round the post and the Spain stopper clutched the resulting corner at the second attempt under pressure from Laurent Koscielny and Adil Rami.
Debuchy almost made up for getting caught out at the goal when he headed narrowly over from 12 yards after Franck Ribery created space with some trickery on the left and delivered a hanging cross to the penalty spot.
Moments later the advancing Lloris spread himself at the edge of his box to thwart Cesc Fabregas while Casillas got to a Ribery cut-back just ahead of Jeremy Menez at the other end.
The reigning European Champions eased the nerves in the last minute when Alonso sent Lloris the wrong way from the penalty spot after Antoine Reveillere bundled Pedro over.
Alonso described his team's 2-0 win over France as "phenomenal", the 30-year-old Real Madrid midfielder admitting it was a comfortable night for his side.
"The team was phenomenal and personally I am very satisfied with the two goals," said Alonso.
"We didn't have that many chances but we completely controlled the match."
"The most important step is the next one," concluded Alonso. "We know all about Cristiano (Ronaldo). But we are not afraid.
"We are now in the semis and of course all the games at this stage are life and death."