Sarah Hyland has defended Ariel Winter from online ''pervs''.

The 'Modern Family' actress hit out at Instagram users who left unnecessarily rude comments on a post made by her 20-year-old co-star - which featured her filling her car with petrol - and branded them ''creeps'' in an angry reply of her own.

Commenting on the image, she wrote: ''To all the pervs commenting on this post? GET OFFLINE AND GET BACK TO YOUR BLOWUP DOLL YA CREEPS!''

Her rant came after Ariel shared the same photograph - taken by a paparazzo - a number of times, after it was initially removed from Instagram for copyright reasons.

She argued: ''What in the f**k @instagram?? Lol they removed my photo because it violated someone else's rights? It's literally a photo of me that someone sent me on Twitter? (sic)''

Ariel later re-posted it again and argued she should be free to do so because her space was ''violated'' by the picture being taken in the first place.

She continued: ''Posting again for the idiots who took down MY PHOTO for violating someone else's copyright. They violated my space so I should at least be able to post it when I want to or just not be f**king photographed. Will repost every time it's taken down.(sic)''

Sarah, 27, later showed more solidarity with her pal as she shared a paparazzi photo of herself looking fed up as she walked down the street.

She captioned it: ''Pulling an @arielwinter: Honestly the ONLY reason I'm posting this is because I've never seen a more accurate picture of myself. #newyorkeratheart #angrywalking.''

This week, Sarah returned to the gym following her hospitalisation for an unknown condition.

She shared on her Instagram story: ''Workout before work. I'm normally shaky, but I'm even shakier from working out ... Finally have clearance to workout. Abs here I come. It's been a while. Strong > skinny.''