Tackles were flying throughout the match

If they did not score more goals that was as much down to the strange nature of the second half, with the action petering out as both sides realised the scoreline suited them fine.

Remarkably, Spain will go into the second round without a single yellow card against them.

That is testament to their ability to keep their frustration at bay, even when things are going against them.

There is still one obvious area where they can improve. Fernando Torres looked bereft of form, as time and again his first touch let him down in good positions in front of goal.

Yet with Villa on such a spectacular roll, Gerard Pique in inspired form in defence and the midfield running like clockwork, they are assuming the sort of authority that marked their successful run at Euro 2008.

To win the World Cup, they will likely have to beat better South American sides than Chile but at least now they know how it is done - keep possession, keep cool and keep giving the ball to David Villa.

Image: Chile's Marco Estrada (left) challenges Spain's Sergio Busquets during their match