Sensational Isco spares Real Madrid’s blushes against Sporting
Real made nine changes from their Champions League victory at Bayern Munich
Real Madrid’s midfielder Isco celebrates after scoring the winner at El Molinon stadium in Gijon. Photograph: Getty Images
Sporting Gijon 2 Real Madrid 3
Isco’s brilliant double helped a much-changed Real Madrid side snatch a 3-2 win at Sporting Gijon on Saturday to move six points clear of title rivals Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Madrid twice came from behind before Isco’s low drive in the 90th minute handed Los Blancos victory against their exhausted hosts, who had faced waves of attacks.
Sporting opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Mikel Vesga scooped a pass over Madrid’s defence which Duje Cop slammed home, before Isco equalised three minutes later with a brilliant individual goal.
The hosts took advantage, showing no fear against the league leaders and they broke the deadlock with Cop’s well-worked goal.
The lead did not last long, however, as man-of-the-match Isco danced away from two defenders before curling into the top corner.
Madrid began to find their feet and nearly went ahead before the break when Lucas Vazquez almost reached a low cross at the back post.
It was Sporting, however, who moved back in front in the 50th minute, with on-loan Athletic Bilbao midfielder Vesga planting a header high over Casilla that dipped into the net.
Morata scored nine minutes later, heading home Danilo’s cross, and Madrid pressed for a winner with Isco robbed of the ball when poised to shoot after another bewitching dribble and substitute Marcelo drilling wide.
In the final minute of the game Madrid got their goal, Isco finding a pocket of space on the edge of the area and firing a strike inside Ivan Cuellar’s near post.
Earlier on Saturday Deportivo La Coruna beat Malaga 2-0 to move nine points clear of the relegation zone, with Sporting Gijon still 18th, on 22 points.