Neymar ban: Barcelona forward set to miss Clasico with Real Madrid

Luke Brown, Ben Burrows
The Independent
Neymar will now miss Barcelona's next three La Liga games: Getty
Neymar will now miss Barcelona's next three La Liga games: Getty

Neymar has been ruled out of this month’s El Clásico after being hit with a three-match ban.

The Brazilian saw red as Barcelona suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at Malaga on Saturday, a result which scuppered their hopes of going top of La Liga after Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by rivals Atlético.

The 25-year-old was dismissed after a second yellow card mid-way through the second half earning an automatic one-match ban.

But the authorities have taken a dim view of his sarcastic applause of the referee as he left the field and upped his punishment.

Spanish league rules dictate that players can receive a longer suspension if they show 'clear contempt' for the match officials.

As well as the Madrid game Neymar will also miss the matches with Real Sociedad and Osasuna.

Unsurprisingly, boss Luis Enrique refused to criticise Neymar in the immediate aftermath of the game, instead focusing on the number of Malaga fouls that went unpunished.

“It's curious that a team like us that doesn't usually kick people gets so many yellow cards in such an incomprehensible manner,” Enrique said.

“There was some very ugly tackles from behind from their team, which didn’t see them get booked and others committed by us which were given yellows.

“The rules are there to be interpreted, but equally for everyone. I don’t understand certain fouls were not given to us, but we are used to it.”€

Cristiano Ronaldo could also miss the April 23rd clash after picking up four yellow cards in La Liga this season - he will be in line for a one match suspension if he is cautioned during Real’s next league game, away to Sporting de Gijón this weekend.

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