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Key Events

D. Čop
Penalty Miss
Yellow Card
Carlos Carmona
Isma López
2 - 1
Cristiano Ronaldo
2 - 0
Cristiano Ronaldo
Penalty Goal
1 - 0
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FULL-TIME! Real Madrid scrape their way to a narrow 2-1 win over Sporting, courtesy of two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo. The away side responded through Carmona, before Cop missed a late penalty, giving Zidane's men a late reprieve. That's all that we have time for, we hope to see you again next time.
There are two minutes of stoppage time. Isco does well to get into the box from the left, but then sends a shot high and wide of the target due to a telling deflection.
Viguera and Cop challenge for another hopeful ball into the box, but Real Madrid are just about doing enough to try and stay ahead. Zidane's men slow things down with some patient possession, as they are trying their best to take the sting out of some late Sporting pressure.
Lucas Vazquez does well to clear a Sporting corner away from the danger zone, which leads to Real Madrid haring upfield on the break. Ronaldo is the man to try his luck, as he searches for the all-important first goal, but Marino isn't troubled. The hosts are inviting plenty of pressure onto themselves here.
A chance for Lucas! The Spain international is nearly picked out by a ball in from the right-hand side, but he can't get his head on the end of it with Marino at his mercy. Moments later, Marcelo tries to whip a delivery from the opposite wing, but it sails over everyone and Sporting come away with the ball.
Only five minutes stand between Real Madrid and another important win in La Liga, to put all of the pressure on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. isco loses out around 30 yards from goal, which leads to a break from the visitors, but Modric tracks back to make a brilliant sliding tackle.
Sporting work their way down the right-hand side, but Douglas then loses out on the ball after dwelling on it for too long. Zidane's side are sitting very deep indeed, and the fans inside this stadium are sounding nervous. Nacho half-clears a cross from the right, before Pepe makes absolutely sure. Moments later, Navas is forced into a good save, as Cop fails to make it 2-2 from close range.
Nacho Cases
R. Aït-Atmane
Rachid takes his leave, with Nacho Cases given the last 10 minutes to try and inspire Sporting to an equaliser.
M. Kovačić
Kovacic is replaced by Isco for the dying stages, as it appears that Zidane wants another goal to put this contest to bed.
Ten minutes remain in the Spanish capital, and Real Madrid are holding onto this win by the skin of their teeth. Lucas drives down the right and tries to bend in a cross, but it sails over everybody and denies Ronaldo the chance to score a hat-trick.
D. Čop
Penalty Miss
OVER THE BAR! The Croatia international steps up in the rain and blasts an awful penalty attempt high of the crossbar. Pepe reacts as though Real Madrid have just won the league. Deary me, he won't want to see that again.
Yellow Card
Nacho is booked for hauling down Victor as the Spaniard tried to shoot from close-range.
PENALTY TO SPORTING! Nacho gives away a late spot-kick! The Real Madrid defender can't get the ball out of his feet and ends up dragging down Victor as a result.
Víctor Rodríguez
Moi Gómez
Moi Gomez is replaced by Victor for the away side, as Abelardo looks to freshen things up.
Carlos Carmona
Substitution Carlos Carmona Bonet Borja Viguera Manzanares
Victor drives towards the edge of the box, before feeding a low pass into Viguera, but the substitutes can't combine to good effect, as Modric makes a timely block on the edge of his own penalty area. Real Madrid are in a very precarious position here.
Another free-kick delivery comes to nothing for the hosts, as Ronaldo clips a cross into the box that evades a few players in white shirts after skimming off the wet grass. Sporting are still in this game with a quarter of an hour on the clock - Abelardo will believe that his men can still manage to scrape a share of the spoils somehow. Despite their poor second half, they're not out of it yet.
Sergio Ramos
Marcelo comes into the game, with Ramos coming off. That will see Nacho slot in at centre-back for the last 20 minutes or so.
Marco Asensio
J. Rodríguez
James takes his leave, after failing to impress. The Bernabeu crowd react with both jeers and clapping, so it isn't too clear what they make of that change.
Ronaldo drills in a cross from the left-hand side, but Benzema is beaten to the ball by a defender. The Portuguese forward has been keen to turn provider today, despite being only one goal away from yet another La Liga hat-trick. Modric tries to shoot from 25 yards out, but the ex-Dinamo midfielder blasts high and wide of the target.
Moi Gomez tries to scamper into the penalty box for Sporting, but Pepe outmuscles the Spaniard with relative ease, before slotting a pass back to Navas. James tries to link up with Benzema in a central area, but the return ball from the Frenchman is terrible - it really hasn't been his game so far.
The away side are enjoying a bit more of the ball in the last 10 minutes, with Real Madrid happy to sit back in their banks of four and prey on opposition mistakes. Lucas is found on the right, and clips in a back-post cross, but Mere rises above Benzema to clear the danger for Sporting. Moments later, the young defender denies Ronaldo from a similar situation.
Carlos Carmona
Yellow Card
Douglas is released down the right-hand side yet again, but Pepe covers across to make a good clearance. Carmona tries to challenge for the ball, but instead catches the centre-back's knee in rash fashion, which earns him Sporting's third yellow card of the contest.
Ramos clears the latest cross in from the right-hand side, with Danilo then able to earn a free-kick from Moi Gomez for a shove. The hosts build an attack, which sees Ronaldo picked out in the box, but the Portuguese forward can only flick a glancing header just shy of the post. Marino had that covered.
Sporting work the ball from left to right, with Douglas invited to cross. He tries to find a back-post runs from Cop, but puts just too much pace on the delivery. That was very close, Real Madrid need to find another goal if they are to try and close this one out comfortably.
R. Aït-Atmane
Yellow Card
Rachid is the next man to go in the referee's book this afternoon.
Sporting try to settle themselves down with a bit of possession, but Real Madrid's banks of four are doing well to prevent their build-up play from having any joy. Isma Lopez has been dealt with more diligently this side of the break, and his fade from prominence has seen the visitors threaten much less.
Ronaldo cuts a cross back from the left, but Amorebieta pokes a clearance halfway to safety. Lucas then has the chance to deliver from the opposite flank, but Benzema somehow manages to direct a point-blank header straight at Marino! Either side of the goalkeeper and that was 3-1.
Kovacic finds Ronaldo on the left, who cuts onto his right foot and takes a half-chance to shoot. His low effort is gathered up by Marino easily, who had to watch the ball carefully in case it slipped through his grasp. Real Madrid maintain their pressure, but a back-post cross is eventually dealt with by Douglas.
Alvarez is nearly picked out sliding in at the back post for the away side, but a cross from the left skims off the turf and out of play for a goal-kick. The weather is starting to have more of an effect on the run of the ball, and Zidane is off his bench at last to start giving out some instructions.
Benzema continues to be rather anonymous up top, as much of Real Madrid's threat has come from the wide areas this afternoon. Carmona is picked out on the right, as Sporting try to break, but Danilo clears under pressure from Isma Lopez at the back post. The hosts continue to use a 4-4-2, with Ronaldo playing slightly off his French strike partner.
James picks up a free-kick for the hosts, who are happy to stroke the ball around and keep possession moving. Zidane's men are calm and composed, to ensure that Sporting quickly forget their strong end to the first half. The rain is bucketing down in Madrid, but the pitch is holding up well for now.
Kovacic drifts in from the left and encourages the hosts to open play out to the other flank instead. Danilo whips in a cross, which Benzema challenges for at the near post, but the Frenchman stoops into a boot to the head! Amorebieta is the man guilty of the accidental blow.
We are underway in the second half in the Spanish capital! Real Madrid hold a narrow advantage, but Ronaldo will be keen to hunt down yet another hat-trick in the quest for three more La Liga points.
HALF-TIME! Real Madrid head into the break at the Bernabeu with a 2-1 lead over Sporting, courtesy of two goals from Ronaldo. The away side pulled a goal back through Carmona, and it does appear that Zidane's men are on course for another league win, as long as they can get a handle on Isma Lopez down the left flank.
There is one minute of stoppage time. Cop is the target of a ball in behind for Sporting, but the pass is too heavy and Ramos knocks a pass back for Navas.
Mere is penalised on the right-hand side for tugging on Ronaldo's shirt, gifting the home side a chance to whip in a free-kick from the left. Real Madrid fail to capitalise on the opportunity, with Sporting able to clear their lines and hold on for now. Carmona gets to the byline on the break and earns his men a corner, but Navas makes a good catch.
Diego Marino is forced into an unconvincing save from close-range, as Real Madrid continue to pile their pressure on. The hosts then clip a long ball into the box from deep, but Danilo is unable to streak down the right and prevent the overcooked pass from heading behind for a goal-kick.
The rain continues to pour down in Madrid, with Zidane remaining under cover in his dug-out. His team are doing his job for him at the moment, while Abelardo is out getting drenched in an attempt to inspire his players to kick on. Less than five minutes remain for Sporting to try and make their resurgence count in this first half.
F. Amorebieta
Yellow Card
Amorebieta picks up the first yellow card of the game.
Modric comes across to snuff out some nice interplay from Sporting, which sparks a break for the hosts. Ronaldo feeds Lucas on his outside, who drives into the penalty area and blasts a ferocious effort a long way wide of the near post. There is a brief stoppage in play, as Amorebieta just collided with Ronaldo's shoulder.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in this first half, Sporting are back in the equation. That finish was lovely, and it will give Abelardo and his charges some much-needed belief. Real Madrid try to respond with some patient possession, which forces the away side to race around in an attempt to maintain their momentum.
Isma López
A cut-back from the left-hand side from Isma Lopez finds Carmona scampering into a little pocket of space.
Carlos Carmona
GOOOOOOOOOAL! LOVELY FINISH FROM CARMONA! The wing-back has been a threat all afternoon, and now he has an assist to prove it. A cross in from the left-hand side picks out Carmona's darting run into the box, which is flicked into the far corner with the touch of striker. Inspired stuff!
Real Madrid are continuing to play with ten men, as Pepe gets his ankle strapped up on the sideline. After the Portugal international just returned from an injury, this is the last thing that Zidane will want to see. Sporting try to make their numerical advantage count, but a cross from the left by Amorebieta is thumped away.
Great play from Ronaldo! The Portuguese forward uses a lovely turn of pace to get down the left, before bending in an inviting cross. Moi Gomez is forced to put the ball behind for a corner, with Vazquez lurking at the back post. The resulting corner is cleared by Sporting, while Pepe gets some treatment on the touchline.
Sporting win a corner on the left, where all of their dangerous attacks continues to stem from, but it is cleared. The away side maintain their pressure, with Moi Gomez able to drive infield and shoot, with Navas parrying a low drive around the post. Given the moist turf, it was a case of better safe than sorry.
Good clearance from Ramos! Isma Lopez is a threat down the left yet again, with Danilo failing to cope with his pace, but a ball in from the byline is prevented from reaching Cop by a brave intervention. In the aftermath, it appears that Pepe is moving a little gingerly, after trying to deny the initial delivery.
Duje Cop is trying to lead some more intense pressing for the away side, but they will need to all push out higher up the field if they are to truly flummox Real Madrid in terms of passing options. Isma Lopez drives down the right, before drilling in a cross, but Sergio Ramos half-clears, before Moi Gomez sees a shot on the rebound blocked. Moments later, Cop is nearly found by a Douglas cross, but it is slightly overhit.
Danilo is penalised for pushing through the back of Isma Lopez, as the Brazilian right-back continues to have a rather indifferent start to this game. Ronaldo is popping up all over the field - he wants this hat-trick badly. Sporting try to spark a counter-attack with a long ball over the top, but Pepe mops up for the hosts.
Real Madrid look in the mood to score some goals today, and it doesn't appear that Sporting have got any say in the matter. All of the chances are falling the way of Zidane's men, with the away side sat so deep that Cop is the only man prepared to venture over the half-way line.
Ronaldo is well on the way to sealing his third hat-trick in four La Liga games, and he looks very much in the mood to doing so today! Real Madrid are pushing on relentlessly, and earn themselves another corner. This time, a Sergio Ramos over-head kick bounces off the turf and onto the bar, leading to Nacho being caught offside following up!
Cristiano Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOAL! TWO FOR RONALDO! The Portugal international steams into the box and thumps home a fantastic close-range header. Marino had absolutely no chance. Nacho whipped in the inviting cross, and the first goalscorer did the rest after a missed header from Amorebieta.
Nacho has the time and space to curl in a lovely cross from the left-hand side.
Sporting are always looking for opportunities to break upfield at pace, but no chances have been forthcoming since two in the very early minutes here. Abelardo is watching on from the touchline and looks a little bit nervous, as that penalty has robbed the away side of the chance to try and nick an unlikely win on the counter-attack.
Ronaldo is dropped very deep to get involved with the build-up play for the hosts, as Real Madrid continue to dominate possession and call the shots. Danilo is found by a ball down the right-hand side, but a failure to take a good first touch allows for Isma Lopez to get back goalside and defuse the situation.
Over the top from Ronaldo! The Portuguese forward is picked out wonderfully by a corner delivery from the right-hand side, but nods shy of the target. He was entirely unmarked, but under no pressure the Real Madrid man couldn't convert from a few yards out. That should have been 2-0 to the hosts.
Just wide from Rachid! The Algerian midfielder takes aim from long-range, and wins a corner for his side. Navas had to dive full-stretch to make sure that a deflected shot didn't creep inside his left-hand post. The resulting corner is swung in towards the back post, but nobody can make contact with the ball at all.
Real Madrid are looking confident now, with Modric and Kovacic keen to see plenty of the ball. The latter, after all, has to prove that he can keep Casemiro out of the team. Danilo is fed on the overlap down the right-hand side, but a cross swung in by the Brazil international sails straight behind for a goal-kick. The ex-Porto man has had a poor start to proceedings in Madrid.
Isma Lopez cuts back a great cross from the left-hand side, but Sporting are forced back towards their own goal. Rachid then goes on a weaving run towards the edge of the box, but the midfielder takes a poor touch and surrenders the opportunity to shoot from 20 yards out as a result.
Real Madrid settle themselves down with a spell of possession, which ends in Ronaldo releasing Danilo down the right. A cut-back from the Brazilian is flicked on by James, but Sporting manage to clear their lines. Business as usual for the hosts now, after that brief scare from Cop and Carmona.
Cristiano Ronaldo
Penalty Goal
GOOOOOOOOAL! RONALDO MAKES IT 1-0! The Portugal international steps up confidently, before slotting a neat penalty into the bottom-right corner. The home fans are smiling already. Sporting have pressed self-destruct, there.
PENALTY TO REAL MADRID! Lucas Vazquez cuts in from the right-hand side, before being felled by a really clumsy tackle. A leg is offered to the ex-Espanyol man, and he hurtles into it.
Cop has the first half-chance of the game, after picking up a loose ball, but shoots a long way side of the left-hand post. Already, there are a few signs of frustration from the hosts, as Cristiano Ronaldo goes down heavily, before Nacho throws the ball away.
We are underway in the first half at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu! Real Madrid are on the hunt for another three points to keep themselves clear in first place, while Sporting will be hoping to try and turn their dismal form around in the unlikelist of scenarios.
Carmona should make it 1-0! The Sporting winger is fed into the penalty area by a wonderful pass, but with Navas approaching, the Spaniard can only stab a rushed effort wide of the near post. The pressure seemed to get to him there, as the Costa Rica international made himself nice and big.
Sporting substitutes: Babin, Victor, Nacho Cases, Canella, Xavi Torres, Viguera, Oscar.
Sporting starting line-up (5-4-1): Diego Marino; Douglas, Lillo, Mere, Amorebieta, Isma Lopez; Carmona, Sergio Alvarez, Rachid, Moi Gomez; Cop.
Real Madrid substitutes: Carvajal, Marcelo, Casilla, Casemiro, Diaz, Asensio, Isco.
Real Madrid starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Navas; Danilo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Nacho; Modric, Kovacic; Lucas Vazquez, James, Ronaldo; Benzema.
TEAM NEWS: Duje Cop leads the line for the away side, who look to be playing a much more defensive formation today. Lillo looking to be featuring as a third centre-back after returning from a ban, with Douglas at right-back. Carlos Carmona is on the right wing, with Moi Gomez on the left, with Rachid preferred to Nacho Cases in the middle of the park. Victor is on the bench, with Isma Lopez featuring at wing-back ahead of Roberto Canella. Diego Marino makes only his second appearance of the season in goal.
TEAM NEWS: Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Raphael Varane and Alvaro Morata are all missing due to injury for the hosts, but Pepe and Casemiro return to the first-team squad. Nacho gets a start at left-back, as Marcelo has been carrying a knock, with Danilo replacing Dani Carvajal on the opposite flank. James Rodriguez gets a rare start in place of the in-form Isco, with Lucas Vazquez deployed out on the right-hand side of the attack.
The hosts have, however, drawn two of their last four home games in the Spanish top-flight, which may give Sporting some hope. You'd have to look all the way back to January to find the last time that the visitors won away from El Molinon, and the man to grab the all-important goal in a 1-0 win against Valencia has since left the club. That man was Antonio Sanabria, with Duje Cop the main threat for Abelardo's men today.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Sporting Gijon's tough away trip to the Santiago Bernabeu, as Abelardo tries to inspire a good performance from his struggling side. While Real Madrid top the table and have won their last five La Liga games, as part of an unbeaten league run that stretches back to February, the away side haven't picked up a competitive win since early September.