France slipped to their first FIFA World Cup qualifying Group I defeat as Spain leapfrogged their ten-man hosts with a win in Paris and now top the section.
The reigning world and European champions were keen to make amends for two dropped points at home to Finland on Friday, but had to wait until the 58th minute for Pedro Rodríguez to find the net. Franck Ribéry and Patrice Evra came close to levelling for France who finished the game with ten men after Paul Pogba received two yellow cards in as many minutes.
Spain enjoyed much of the early possession but struggled to test Hugo Lloris as much as they would have liked, with Xavi Hernández wasting a good opportunity from Nacho Monreal's cutback. Didier Deschamp's men posed an attacking threat themselves and Víctor Valdés had to be quick off his line to pounce at the feet of Ribéry after the FC Bayern München forward evaded the attentions of Gerard Piqué.
Vicente del Bosque's charges stepped up a gear after the break, however. They forged ahead when Monreal surged clear down the left and supplied Pedro, in the middle, whose shot was only parried by Lloris into the corner. Blaise Matuidi then troubled Valdés as France went in search of an equaliser, but their chances were hindered when Pogba was dismissed after 78 minutes.
There was still time for Ribéry to fire wide and Evra to force Valdés into another stop, yet Spain held on to take over the Group I leadership. Both sides return to action on 6 September when Spain visit Finland and France travel to Georgia.