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The Dutchman has claimed he didn't mean to control the ball illegally...

Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has admitted that he accidently used his hand to control the ball before netting a crucial equaliser in his side's 3-1 victory over Sporting Gijon on Saturday evening.

Sporting had taken the lead in the match through David Barral, but van der Vaart took advantage of a blocked Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick to slam the ball home and give los Blancos the ascendency to go on and win the match.

However, the former Hamburg star told journalists after the match that there was more than a hint of handball in the build-up to the goal.

He said of the incident: “Yes, there was little bit of handball, but it is very difficult for the referee to see if there is a handball or not, so I just want to enjoy the victory."

Van der Vaart is enjoying a run in coach Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI at the moment, and was delighted to help his side extend their lead at the summit of the Primera Division, although he issued a message of caution to his colleagues.

He added: “The best thing of it was that we got the three important points, but we must be critical of ourselves because the first half was not very good. They went ahead, and that is something that we cannot allow to happen again.”


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