It was the goal of a top class player, and led to a barrage of questions postmatch from local reporters who asked whether Zinedine Zidane had been unfair to leave the Spain global on the bench so often.
Sporting, who started the day five points adrift of safety, had gone ahead after 14 minutes through a volley from Duje Cop, but Real were soon level when midfielder Isco drilled home.
"I've said it many times", Isco said.
Ramos: The captain didn't rest in yesterday's game with a Real Madrid with a lot of changes in the line -up.
Real Madrid managed a 3-2 win at a gallant Sporting Gijon on Saturday.
Madrid survived an almighty scare in their 3-2 triumph at Sporting on Saturday, overturning a 2-1 deficit as Isco hit the victor with eight seconds of regulation time remaining.
Real's stars should be fresh for Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg match against Bayern at the Bernabeu. With the win, Real maintained the top spot in the table, inching closer towards lifting the trophy.
He was the most active player in the pitch and in the last minutes he gave the victory for Los Blancos scoring his second personal goal with another brilliant play. When we want everyone, they're there.
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"This Is a relief in order to score and take the three points, that was what we needed".
"This is the difficulty of this position, to put good players on the bench from time to time".
The player has been linked with an exit from the club, primarily due to lack of game time, with even Barcelona interested in the Spaniard. "We were able to pull out a win against a very hard rival", Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.
Zidane said it was Isco's best match with Madrid, adding "you have to have character to do what he did".
Sporting went back ahead through a header by Mikel Vesga, who had already set up Cop's opener, which looped over the goalkeeper five minutes after halftime.
Spain global Isco has featured for just 77 minutes in Madrid's nine Champions League games so far in 2016-17, despite being fit for nearly all of the campaign, and remained on the bench when Marco Asensio, James Rodriguez and Mateo Kovacic entered from the bench during last week's 2-1 quarterfinal first leg win at Bayern Munich.
Osasuna's Salvatore Sirigu saved two late penalties by Carrasco and Thomas Partey.
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.