Coentrao: first Real Madrid start in 164 days in win at Sporting

Fabio Coentrao was a surprise inclusion in the Real Madrid line-up in Los Blancos' LaLiga victory at Sporting Gijón on Saturday afternoon.

Fabio Coentrao: first Real Madrid start in 164 days at Sporting
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce Getty Images

Fabio Coentrao's inclusion in the Real Madrid team to face Sporting Gijón in LaLiga on Saturday saw him handed his first start in no fewer than 164 days.

With crunch games coming up, boss Zinedine Zidane had been expected to ring the changes in Gijón, having left a number of regulars behind in Madrid.

Coentrao hadn't started for Real Madrid in five months

Nevertheless, the Frenchman's decision to field full-back Coentrao - who has been a highly peripheral figure this season - raised eyebrows.

Coentrao (left) last started for Real Madrid against Legia in November.

The Portuguese cap had last begun a Real match back on 2 November 2016, in a 3-3 draw away to Legia Warsaw in the Champions League.

First game time since early January

And the Sporting clash, in which Coentrao played 57 minutes before being replaced by Marcelo, was his first start in the Spanish top flight this term.

His most recent previous appearance of any kind had come three months ago, as a second-half substitute in a 5-0 LaLiga victory over Granada on 7 January.

Isco winner earns Real three points at El Molinón

Álvaro Morata scored one and Isco hit two - including a late match-winning strike - as Real beat Sporting 3-2 to edge closer to a first league title in five years.

LaLiga Santander

Table PTS W D L
1Real Madrid 72 22 6 2
2Barcelona 69 21 6 4
3Atlético 62 18 8 5
Full standing
Next matches
Sporting - Real Madrid S-15/04 16:15
Real Madrid - Barcelona D-23/04 20:45
Deportivo - Real Madrid X-26/04 21:30


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*Update 15 de abril de 2017