Sporting Gijón 2 – 3 Real Madrid: Three Takeaways from the La Liga Match

(Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
(Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid’s squad players eked past Sporting de Gijón with 3 crucial La Liga points on the back of a last ditch Isco winner. Alex McVey takes a look at this breathtaking match with three key takeaways.

(Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
(Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /

Isco! Isco! Isco!

The bandy-legged, bearded beauty named Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, or Isco for short, put Real Madrid on his tiny Spanish back today and dragged them across the finish line with all three points.

Isco was everywhere on the pitch today. He was hands down the man of the match, and is demonstrating that priority number one this summer should be extending his contract.

Given that Real Madrid were missing the majority of their usual offensive contributors in the BBC, and their midfield presence in Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić, and Casemiro, Isco was called upon to fill both gaps.

He fluidly connected the midfield to the attack, dribbling past Sporting’s defenders in a, dare I say it, Messi-esque fashion.

His ability to stay calm under pressure, to win the ball even if he has to drop to the ground to do so, to dribble his way out of any situation, to catch balls out of the air with ease, and his seamless ambidexterity make him a puzzle wrapped in an enigma for defenders to try and deal with.

Performances like these are why fans have begun to sing Isco’s name, not just at the Bernabéu, but also at away grounds.

It’s why he’s the object of transfer speculation so intense that people are willing to psychoanalyze him on the basis of his chip purchases to glean a sense of where he’ll be playing next. It’s why Zidane will continue to get criticized for not giving him enough minutes, even as he’s become Zizou’s first man off the bench.

The fact that Isco is Madrid’s #1 super-sub is an amazing luxury. It’s a sign of the important squad depth that Zidane has at his disposal. Isco is truly a magical player, and this performance is likely to have cemented his place in Zidane’s plans for next season.