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. "Isco deserves it, like everyone else he has been working".
We at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at some of the significant talking points to emerge from the result. There is little time to rest and those who played today were phenomenal.
Meanwhile, they remain on course to become the first team to retain the Champions League in 27 years.
Sporting is in the relegation zone and five points from safety.
Marcelo insisted there are never any easy games for Real Madrid after the La Liga leader completed its comeback in the 90th minute.
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With two-thirds of the B.B.C not exactly firing on all cylinders for Real Madrid in recent weeks, there has been a growing clamor from Madridistas to play their supremely talented playmaker Isco from the start.
Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski are all doubtful - although the Poland worldwide seems likely to feature at this stage - but Lahm remains optimistic over Bayern's chances of turning around their 2-1 defeat from the first leg.
In between Neymar was also slapped with a three-game ban following his first Barca red card last weekend and misses Real Sociedad's visit on Saturday, as well as a potential decisive clash with Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu next weekend.
Only captain Sergio Ramos and Fernandez Nacho retained their places as James Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez, Morata, Marco Asensio and Fabio Coentrao came in for rare starts. The Colombian midfielder had a great chance to show his quality but we saw him that he is not 100& fit.
The game's opener came from Croatian frontman Duje Cop, before Isco equalised three minutes later with an excellent solo effort.
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Zinedine Zidane is counting on Real Madrid to produce a second masterclass away from home this week as they turn their focus back onto domestic matters.
"We'll have to see what his injury is", Zidane said.
It was Sporting that made the breakthrough in the 14th minute when Cop allowed a wonderful pass from Mikel Vesga to drop straight onto his left foot, and the striker's volley found a route past Kiko Casilla in the Real Madrid goal.
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.
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