Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Spartak Moscow in the Champions League sealed their passage to the knockout phases and secured the top spot in Group G for the Spanish team. However, the game might be remembered in the future for some sublime skill from Andres Iniesta rather than the goals.
It was a notable match for Leo Messi once more as he plundered two well-taken goals, a right-footed strike on the rebound and a second goal when he rounded the 'keeper to finish into an empty net.
Those two strikes took the Argentine forward to 80 goals during the calendar year of 2012, just half a dozen short of breaking the all-time world record, currently held by German Gerd Muller.
For once, though, Messi's goals were neither telling, match-winning nor even the best moments of the match.
Dani Alves had already put Barcelona ahead, and though Spartak Moscow showed flashes of danger, most notably on the counter-attack down the flanks, they never really tested Victor Valdes or came close to an equalising goal—rendering Messi's strikes merely the shine on a polished performance rather than the game-changing events they often are.
The moment of the match for Barcelona though came from Andres Iniesta as the Spanish international showcased the full range of his ability, close control and composure on the ball.
Receiving the ball by the left touchline, Iniesta quickly shifted the ball right-foot-to-left around a defender, knocked it past another one and stretched to stop the ball dead before it rolled out of play.
A quick shift of balance allowed some further footwork to dodge the same hapless Spartak opponent, Marek Suchy, for a second time and then Iniesta found himself confronted with three defenders.
No matter, as he calmly rolled the ball backwards through Suchy's legs, bamboozling him for a third time in a matter of seconds, before passing the ball back to a teammate to retain possession.
Some excellent technique and poise from one of the planet's best talents.
Iniesta had a terrific game overall, completing 90 percent of his 87 passes, creating one chance on goal and having three shots during the match.
stats from whoscored.com