Real Madrid's midfielder Isco (C) celebrates with teammate Brazilian defender Marcelo after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match Real Sporting de Gijon vs Real Madrid CF at El Molinon stadium in Gijon on April 15, 2017.
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.
Zinedine Zidane insisted Isco belongs at Real Madrid after the playmaker scored two wonderful goals, including a dramatic late victor, in the 3-2 LaLiga victory at Sporting Gijon.
Rodriguez sent in a free-kick from the right, which Nacho headed down, but goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar made a superb save on the line and the ball ran across the face of goal with Morata unable to stab it home at the far post.
Real Madrid will be without their entire prodigious attacking trident this weekend and Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were all left out of the 18-man squad for the trip to Sporting Gijon.
Madrid twice came from behind before Isco's low drive in the 90th minute handed Los Blancos victory against their exhausted hosts, who had faced waves of attacks.
Real Sociedad has been an unhappy hunting ground for Barca, with the reverse fixture representing a seventh successive season without leaving the Anoeta with three points.
Fabio Coentrao played today from the beginning for first time in all the regular season and this is what Zidane thinks about his performance:"I saw him very well and I'm happy for him".
The hosts took advantage, showing no fear against the league leaders and they broke the deadlock with Cop's well-worked goal. "We need everyone and everyone responds".
Before that game, both rivals will play the return legs of their Champions League quarterfinals.
The calculated risk taken by Zidane came close to backfiring.
Madrid then peppered the Sporting goal, but didn't make the breakthrough until injury time as Isco's effort from the edge of the area had too much power for Cuellar.
He has been linked with a move away in the summer, but Zidane said: "I feel unfair to all those who do not play".
"You have to have character to do what he did", Zidane said.
Isco's fine individual effort and a towering header from Alvaro Morata ensured neither lead lasted more than a few minutes. But the lack of a major role under Zidane has led to rumors he is seeking to leave the club.
"I want to stay at Real Madrid for many years", Isco said.
"I don't know why it surprises people that I want to play more".
Atletico are next up and aim to cement their place in third at home facing bottom of the table Osasuna, who nevertheless travel to the capital following consecutive wins, which will probably do little to help their campaign to avoid the drop.