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Iniesta nets the winner

Madrid: Andres Iniesta celebrated being named on the shortlist for the Fifa World Player of the Year award with a glorious goal for Barcelona as the holders won 3-0 at Alaves in a King’s Cup last-32 first leg on Tuesday.

The Spain playmaker, who struck the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, had limited space on the edge of the area when he curled a delicate shot into the top corner to double Barca’s lead after 50 minutes.

Alaves reached the final of the Uefa Cup in 2001 and now play their football in the third tier of Spanish football but battled hard against a Barca side, who rested Lionel Messi.

They faded, however, after Iniesta fed David Villa to slam a shot in off the crossbar just before half-time.

Alaves have a mountain to climb if they are to come back in next month’s second leg at the Nou Camp, particularly after Cesc Fabregas headed a third for the unbeaten La Liga leaders at the end. (Reuters)