Rafael van der Vaart has jumped to the defence of Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos after his latest dismissal in Saturday's 4-3 victory over Malaga.

Ramos has been plagued by red cards for the past 18 months, but Van der Vaart insists: "Sergio is not happy about the dismissal, but it is something normal. These things can happen.

"We all have been expelled once. It was a mistake, but do not give much importance to it, I've also committed such errors."

On Barcelona now being top of the table, Van der Vaart added: "It is still early. If we look at their game, I see that Barcelona is suffering less, but we must go forward and try to improve.

"We must dedicate ourselves to our game without worrying about others."