Neymar to miss Clasico as part of three-game suspension

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But Neymar sarcastically applauded the fourth official as he walked off the pitch meaning he has been handed an extra game suspension.

Brazilian soccer sensation Neymar will miss out on Barcelona's April 23 matchup against Real Madrid following a three-game ban.

The Brazilian forward was shown a freakish yellow card in the first-half for tying his boot laces next to the ball, stopping the hosts from taking a free-kick in the process.

The Neymar news could not come at a worse time for a Barcelona side that was clinging to slim title hopes.

After the Madrid derby ended in a draw a victory at La Rosaleda would have sent Barcelona level with Madrid on 72 points.

The 25-year-old Brazil worldwide picked up a needless second yellow card for wiping out Diego Llorente in the 65th minute of the 2-0 defeat at La Rosaleda, which earned him a one-match suspension.

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But under Spanish league rules, the 25-year-old would receive a longer ban if his reaction to the sending off is deemed as contempt towards the match officials.

Barcelona are now three points off Real Madrid having played a game more than their rivals, meaning a win at the Bernabeu is likely to be essential if they are to retain the title.

The hosts, though, had also been robbed of a spot kick when the same thing happened at the other end of the field some 10 minutes before, with Javier Mascherano the man let off the hook.

The Brazilian is also expected to be unavailable for the two encounters at home against Real Sociedad (15 April) and Osasuna (26 April). Now, Neymar's going to miss one of the biggest games in La Liga's history: El Clasico! Barcelona are now noticeably weaker with Neymar absent from their three-pronged attack comprised of Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

"I think the interpretation of the yellow cards is special", said Barcelona boss Luis Enrique after the game. That's if Barcelona doesn't follow the trend of dropping points to weak sides, as their four losses this season have been to teams outside of the top nine of La Liga.

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