Bale ruled out of Champions League game against Bayern

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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. It's obviously a huge result for the team in the race for La Liga, and to do it like that with bench players is impressive.

With just six games remaining in La Liga, Real Madrid maintain their three point lead on FC Barcelona at the top of the league standings after the 32nd round of games in which both sides won their respective games but neither were especially convincing.

"I am at the best team in the world, there is no bigger team than Madrid and I feel fortunate", said Isco.

Isco also hailed Madrid's DNA to fight till the end, but accepted the European champions made life hard for themselves against relegation threatened Sporting.

Despite all of the players rested, Madrid's side still featured an embarrassment of riches - with Isco and James Rodriguez the two men fighting it out for a future in the Spanish capital. The Englishman immediately promised that he would give his players a "kick up the arse" to propel them up and out of the drop zone, but it did not work.

Isco's first goal was a superb solo effort in the 17th to cancel out Duje Cop's opener.

However, Barca passed up the chance to enjoy a comfortable evening in a three-goal spell in as many minutes just before half-time.

Isco received Lucas Vazquez's pass inside a crowded penalty area but somehow dribbled past two Sporting defenders before curling the ball into the top corner.

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

"You have to have character to do what he did", Zidane said.

"I've said it many times", Isco said.

"I've always been clear about what I want".

The Pole has also shown he is capable of the spectacular against Madrid - he scored all four of Borussia Dortmund's goals in a 4-1 semi-final, first-leg rout back in 2013.

"I'm happy, more than anything because we played well from the first to the last minute".

Yannick Carrasco's low strike and back-post header put Atletico comfortably ahead either side of half-time.

Osasuna's Salvatore Sirigu saved two late penalties by Carrasco and Thomas Partey.

Depor had only picked up one point in four matches since stunning Barcelona 2-1 a month ago, but second-half goals from Joselu and Pedro Mosquera helped them see off Malaga.