Everton guaranteed top spot in Europa League Group H with a game to spare as goals from Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas inspired a memorable win in Wolfsburg.
Roberto Martinez's men needed just a point to secure their progression to the knockout phase of the competition but went one better and, in doing so, gave their manager the opportunity to rest players against Krasnodar in a fortnight's time during an already hectic period of fixtures.
Their victory in Germany came thanks to a Belgian double either side of the break; Lukaku coolly netting the opener before laying on the second for his compatriot.
The only sour note of the evening saw James McCarthy limp off with half an hour played, the midfielder holding his hamstring as he headed for the dugout.
Martinez made four changes to the side that defeated West Ham United five days earlier - one of which saw Luke Garbutt drafted in for his first European appearance.
The youngster replaced Seamus Coleman, though he slotted in at left-back, with Tony Hibbert switching to his more familiar right-back role.
Moved to the bench were also Leon Osman and Ross Barkley, while Steven Naismith missed out completely due to the hamstring problem he sustained late on against the Hammers. Muhamed Besic, Samuel Eto'o and Aiden McGeady - well again after a bout of illness - were their replacements.
And it was the youngster Garbutt who almost provided an opener for Sylvain Distin on 14 minutes. The defender's corner found his teammate unmarked at the back post but the Cameroonian's planted downward header was so firm it bounced up and on to the crossbar.
Everton were granted a lucky escape eight minutes later when Perisic sauntered onto a De Bruyne centre and turned into the net. The offside flag went up immediately to stunt Wolfsburg's celebrations but replays suggested the Croatian had been the right side of his marker.
The night's only real blow then came on 30 minutes as McCarthy was replaced by Osman, the sight of the Republic of Ireland international departing momentarily hushing the otherwise vociferous away support.
And their roar grew louder two minutes before half-time as Lukaku grabbed his first European goal for the Blues and first in continental competition since registering for Anderlecht in October 2010.
Overcoming a heavy first touch, the Belgian simply brushed Junior Malanda aside to set himself one-on-one with Diego Benaglio. Wolfsburg's Swiss stopper had no choice but to dash out and, as he did so, the Everton striker coolly slotted the ball to his right - right in front of the draped banners and flags of 3,000 travelling Blues.
Knowing defeat would leave them needing to avoid a loss against Lille to progress, Wolfsburg were always going to come again.
They did so on 57 minutes through Kevin De Bruyne but Tim Howard saved with his legs.
They then had the ball in the net for a second time through Niclas Bendtner's close-range header. Another offside flag came to Everton's rescue. This time the decision was correct.
A second goal was what was required to settle the nerves. But when a chance fell to McGeady on 61 minutes, Everton's desperation to get over the line perhaps showed. Lukaku's initial shot was blocked by Benaglio - but straight into the path of McGeady. With much of the goal to aim at, the winger went for precision but skewed his shot wide of the target.
But the second did come. And some goal it was.
Lukaku turned provider for his compatriot Mirallas and the fit-again winger marked his return this week from a two-month injury lay-off with a memorable goal.
His first touch to gather possession was superb; he steadied himself when he looked poised to lose out in a foot race with Luis Gustavo; he turned the Brazilian; and then he calmly stroked the ball across goal and into the bottom corner. Cue bedlam in the away end.
Wolfsburg sent on the veteran Ivica Olic in a bid to claw something back but two efforts he directed wide were as close as the substitute came to inflicting any damage.
Maximilian Arnold was another to try his luck but saw his shot blocked. Perisic sent another effort high over the crossbar.
Even a third disallowed goal - this time for Barkley - couldn't dampen spirits.
Another clean sheet on foreign soil and European football beyond Christmas awaiting. The rest of the Europa League may just be sitting up and taking note.