Isco's late strike help Real Madrid sink Sporting Gijon in La Liga

Real Madrid are next in action with a trip to play Sporting Gijon, whose hopes of avoiding relegation have suffered a huge setback with two consecutive defeats that have left them five points away from safety.

However, Isco staked his claim for a place in the Madrid XI on Saturday, with a match-winning display against Sporting Gijon.

Sporting went into the lead in the 14th minute of the game when Mikel Vesga scooped a pass over Madrid's defence which Duje Cop slammed home.

Vesga then scored a looping header before Alvaro Morata levelled with his head and Isco got the 20-yard victor. I am very happy.

"Zidane makes the line-ups and is carrying the squad in an extraordinary way".

The reported Manchester City and Barcelona target said his intention remained to stay at the Bernabeu "for many years" while not confirming that he would sign a new contract with the Spanish giants.

Speaking after the game in Gijon, Isco said that he understood that Zidane made the decisions and the most important thing was for the team to progress through the competition. I don't know why people get surprised when I want to play more. He was not to be denied, though, driving a low shot inside the post from outside the box in the final minute to win all three points.

No more so than by Marco Asensio who made a huge impact by setting up Cristiano Ronaldo's victor against Bayern Munich after replacing Gareth Bale for the final half hour.

Future: "I'm in the best team in the world, there is no club bigger than Real Madrid and I feel very fortunate to be here".

"That is the hard part of this job, leaving very good players on the bench".

Sporting restored their lead five minutes into the second half as Vesga headed home from close range, after being teed up by Babin. He was the kaiser in the defense, and in the last minutes he played as a striker looking for the desperate 2-3, but finally Isco scored the goal in 89th minute.

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.

Zidane's side hold a 2-1 lead in the Champions League quarter-final tie.

Coach Diego Simeone also left out a number of his first-team regulars with top scorer Antoine Griezmann left on the bench for the full 90 minutes.

Despite Messi's magic, Barca scrapped past Real Sociedad 3-2 on Saturday bringing the total number of goals they have conceded to seven in the past week alone. Credit must be given where due to the Osasuna goalkeeper, Salvatore Sirigu, who is on loan from PSG, judged both the penalties (from Carrasco and Thomas Partey) correctly, and stopped Carrasco's hat-trick and further humiliation to team.

Victory takes Atletico four points clear of Sevilla in third.

  • Julie Sanders