Struggling Barcelona in search of win

Far from being bitter with head coach Zidane, having made only his 15th league start of the season, Isco says he can not fault the former Galactico as Madrid sit pretty at the top of the table.

Ronaldo is on four yellow cards, and another booking would mean a suspension and he'd miss the big game against Barcelona next Sunday.

The fifth episode of SportsJOE Live with Marc Ó Sé, Andy Reid, Dion Fanning and Colm Parkinson.

Fabio Coentrao and Danilo were handed rare starts in the fullback positions, while forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were rested, with Wales worldwide Gareth Bale out injured.

Zidane said it was Isco's best match with Madrid, adding "you have to have character to do what he did". "I'm more than satisfied with my players' ability to deal with their frustration after what happened in the Champions League".

As Isco wheeled away to join his teammates in the relief and jubilation that accompanied the guarantee of all three points for Zinedine Zidane's side, he made the below gesture with both his hands. Isco avoided three defenders inside a crowded area before lashing a left-footed strike just inside the top corner of the goal frame. Sporting again took back the lead through Vesga in the 50th minute.

But Alvaro Morata headed Madrid level again in the 59th from a pass by Danilo, and the pacesetters kept pushing until Isco netted the victor.

The day kicked off with second half goals from Joselu and Pedro Mosquera giving Deportivo la Coruna a win to lift them well clear of the relegation zone and just about assure their place in the Primera Liga next season.

Once again, though, Sporting's defensive deficiencies were quickly exploited by the European champions as Morata towered above his marker to head home Danilo's cross.

Isco found a pocket of space on the edge of the area and drilled the ball inside Ivan Cuellar's near post.

Isco's winning goal was his second of the game and Marcelo feels the brace was well deserved for a player who has been working hard despite struggling for playing time this season.

Atletico had two penalties saved, Salvatore Sirigu making two saves in two minutes.

  • Julie Sanders