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Ramos sent off in shock Real Madrid defeat but won't miss Clasico

Shaka Hislop and Craig Burley shed some light on Real Madrid's surprising loss to Girona, citing too many changes to the lineup as the problem.
La Liga dominates amongst the top 10 central defenders in the world, but is Sergio Ramos the true pick of the bunch?

Sergio Ramos earned the 25th red card of his Real Madrid career during the 2-1 La Liga defeat against Girona, but he will not miss the upcoming Clasico clashes against Barcelona.

Ramos was sent off for two bookings, the first of which was earned in the 64th minute when he gave away a penalty after handling an Aleix Garcia shot.

The second came in the closing moments, a high boot from Ramos deep inside the Girona penalty area brought a second yellow and his 20th dismissal in La Liga for Madrid, a record in the division.

He will receive a one-match ban, which will be served in the La Liga game away to Levante on Feb. 24 and leave him free to play in the back-to-back Bernabeu Clasicos in the Copa del Rey on Feb. 27 and La Liga on March 2.

The defeat means Madrid are two points behind second-placed Atletico, who moved above their city rivals with victory at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, and nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

Ramos made headlines in midweek after admitting to deliberately picking up a late booking in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg win against Ajax.

He could face a two-match Champions League suspension for the caution after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against him on Thursday.

Madrid coach Santi Solari blamed the defeat on the exertions of a recent difficult run, suggesting at the postmatch news conference that his team had paid for the physical and mental energy expended during the 1-1 Copa del Rey draw at Barcelona, 3-1 La Liga win at Atletico Madrid, and the game at Ajax.

"This is football and Girona played very well," Solari said. "We dominated the first half and had chances to score another. They pressed very well in the second half and took their chances. We lacked that brightness and energy in attack. Exertions made are not just physical, but also mental. We have come off a run of very tough games, and it is probable we paid for that with lower energy levels in the second half."

Solari refused to accept that his team's title chances were over, despite Madrid sitting nine points behind leaders Barcelona.

"Absolutely not," he said. "It is a pity to drop points, while the direct rivals have won. We had been on a good run, catching up, but we are three points further away than yesterday. Next week we have another game, our rivals too. Every game is difficult; it does not matter where the opponent is in the table. We saw that today. So we must try and win again to close the gap."

ESPN FC's Madrid correspondent Dermot Corrigan contributed to this report.

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