Wide scoreline masks Spain's shortcomings
Wide scoreline masks La Roja's deficiencies
(Darko Velkovski 34-og, Vitolo 63, Nacho Monreal 84, Aritz Aduriz 85)
Unbeaten since new coach Julen Lopetegui took over, magnificent in their 4-0 rout of Macedonia despite missing key players, are Spain looking like they can be lift the World Cup again in two years' time?
Unfortunately for fans of La Roja, the jury is still out.
Yes, they have won four and drawn once in the five games under Lopetegui; and yes, even the absence of Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta and Diego Costa was hardly felt when they thrashed Macedonia 4-0 in Grenada yesterday morning (Singapore time).
But, just like England against the Scots 24 hours earlier, the result flattered them and there was little to set pulses racing in a routine but far from convincing victory.
Two years ago, Spain became only the fifth defending champions to fail to progress from the World Cup group stage. And time finally caught up with Vicente del Bosque's golden generation in June's European Championship, where they were knocked out by Italy in the Round of 16.
Enter Lopetegui who has already proved he is an ample replacement for del Bosque, having come up impressively through the ranks of the country's national coaching set-up.
Like his predecessor, he has excellent players at his disposal and enviable strength in depth as one look at the bench illustrated.
But, for all Spain's strong start to the campaign, there are noticeable flaws.
Macedonia may have been regarded as the whipping boys of Group G but Italy, level with Spain at the top and vying for an automatic berth in Russia, must have licked their lips at the way the Balkan outsiders, who have lost all their qualifiers, exploited the lack of height in Spain's defence in the early stages.
Without the injured Pique and Ramos at the back, Lopetegui was forced into fielding the inexperienced centre-back pairing of Nacho Monreal and Marc Bartra.
Both have managed just five league starts this season, with Nacho fourth-choice at Real Madrid and Bartra with precious little playing time since joining Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
By the time Spain went ahead in the most fortuitous of circumstances, Macedonia could have been two goals up but for a wonder save from David de Gea and a free header from Goran Pandev which, shockingly, missed the target.
The fact is that while the conveyor belt of talent at Spain's disposal continues to produce exciting midfielders and forwards, defensively they do not appear to have brought players on with the same impressive consistency.
Then there is the issue of Spain's trusted system of playing one striker.
When Lopetegui decided to bring on the evergreen Aritz Aduriz on the hour mark, with the game all but won, he had a great chance to play the veteran up front alongside Alvaro Morata, if only to see how well they combined.
Instead, it was Morata himself - disappointing for the umpteenth time - who was pulled off as Spain reverted to type.
It was a wasted opportunity to try something different, to look at another option, something that may well be needed in the heat of battle in Russia 2018, when adversaries will be far tougher than Macedonia, who are ranked 155th in the world.
Having said all that, Spain are masters at punishing opponents who do not take their chances, as Macedonia found to their cost.
Once the hapless Darko Velkovski sent a misplaced clearing header into his own net 11 minutes before half-time and the in-form Vitolo bundled home the second, the result was a foregone conclusion.
Two goals in the final 10 minutes put somewhat of a gloss on proceedings.
On the plus side for Spain, as the transition from the old guard that won Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 continues, David Silva - the only survivor from 2008 - seems to be relishing his new-found responsibilities.
Handed the captain's armband in his 106th international appearance, the Manchester City playmaker sparkled as he was given something of a free role by Lopetegui.
And a star has definitely been born in Vitolo, who offers a pace, directness and physical edge so badly missed in the miserable defences of the World Cup and the Euros.
Spain's top scorer in qualifying seems bound to pull in the Premier League scouts at Wembley on Wednesday, though it is unlikely that Sevilla would wish to cash in on a player that cost them a mere £600,000 ($1m) from Las Palmas three years ago.