France managed to halt Spain's run of 24 consecutive victories thanks to two Premier League newcomers as Olivier Giroud and Hugo Lloris grabbed the headlines.
Sergio Ramos handed Spain the lead in the 26th minute but former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas was then denied from the penalty spot after a superb save from Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris.
Fabregas was then made to pay for his penalty miss when new Arsenal signing Giroud headed home from a Frank Ribery cross to earn France a 1-1 draw in Madrid.
Both players have endured mixed fortunes since moving to England with Giroud struggling to find the back of the net for Arsenal, while Lloris was forced to sit on the bench in the early stages of the season as Brad Friedel held on to the number one shirt.
Lloris has forced his way in to the plans of Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas and his performance against reigning world champions Spain showed exactly why the north London club were so keen to sign him from Lyon.
Spurs face a tricky test against table topping Chelsea this weekend and Lloris will hope his performance for France has persuaded Villas-Boas to keep him in the starting side.
Giroud's goal may also give him a kick start to his Arsenal career as he has appeared in seven league games this season but has only managed to score one goal.
The result for France was a significant one as only one side automatically qualifies from the group and Spain represent by far the toughest challenge.
Both sides now sit top of Group 9 with seven points from three games and Giroud believes France showed a battling quality which proves they can challenge for top spot.
"We believed until the end, it is something extraordinary [coming] back from a game like this because we had opportunities throughout the game," said Giroud.
"This is really deserved because the whole group remained supportive. Today, it is me who made the difference and it's nice because I only played five minutes. It was a really good [match] and we all believed until the end."