Ronaldo resting, Isco's 2 goals keeps Madrid on title track

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and teammates look dejected at the end of their UEFA Champions League match against Juventus at the Juventus stadium in Turin

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and teammates look dejected at the end of their UEFA Champions League match against Juventus at the Juventus stadium in Turin

Sporting went ahead through Duje Cop only for Isco to equalise nearly immediately, but they led again early in the second half thanks to Mikel Vesga.

Real Madrid twice came back from a goal down and scored a 90th-minute victor to earn a 3-2 win at Sporting Gijon on Saturday in La Liga to remain in first place.

Madrid was on the verge of a second consecutive league draw when Isco drilled a right-footed shot from just outside the area between goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar and his post.

Isco's outstanding performance saved Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane from paying a heavy price for resting nearly all his first-choice players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, for important matches against Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Following strikes from Mikel Vesga and Alvaro Morata, the 24-year-old midfielder then won the valuable three points for Los Blancos with a last-minute goal, taking his side to the top of the Liga table. I think we deserved the victory because we had many chances to score more goals. "We need everyone and everyone responds".

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This time round, a win at Old Trafford would give Conte and Chelsea a major step toward the Premier League title. If we win both matches, we are in the top four.

La Liga leaders Real Madrid will go into their away game against Sporting Gijon in a far more positive frame of mind than Barcelona will approach their match at home against Real Sociedad in what could be another decisive week in the battle for the Spanish football league title and also to avoid relegation.

And Isco - who has made only one Champions League start all season - may have played himself into contention with an excellent game.

Madrid travel north on the back of their 2-1 win away over Bayern Munich in the Champions League and with their morale sky high.

Only captain Sergio Ramos and Fernandez Nacho retained their places as James Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez, Morata and Marco Asensio all coming in along with Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao for a rare start.

The calculated risk taken by Zidane came close to backfiring.

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The Real Madrid manager said at a press conference: 'He has the personality to do what he has done today and is a great player, but he has already done many good matches'.

Real hit back three minutes later as Isco curled home a fine effort into top corner to level matters for the visitors.

"He will not be with us tomorrow, that is clear, after that we will see", Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said on Friday. "We were able to pull out a win against a very hard rival", Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.

Sporting went ahead twice in the 14th and 50th minute, as Isco and Morata grabbed equalisers in the 17th and and 59th minutes respectively.

Morata scored nine minutes later, heading home Danilo's cross, and Madrid pressed for a victor with Isco robbed of the ball when poised to shoot after another bewitching dribble and substitute Marcelo drilling wide.

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