Iniesta refuses to blame Malaga defeat on referee

Ross Houston
April 14, 2017

Neymar was sent-off as Barcelona blew a great chance to cut the gap at the top of La Liga in a shock 2-0 defeat to Malaga on Saturday. The match's referee, Jesus Gil Manzano, included the incident in his post-match report.

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

Neymar was already set to miss the home game against Real Sociedad at the weekend but will now sit out the trip to Madrid and the following match, at home to Osasuna on April 26.

Luis Enrique's side are now sat three points behind Madrid in La Liga table, with Zinedine Zidane's side drawing 1-1 against cross-city rivals Atletico earlier in the day.

Even with a win in the Neymar-less Clasico, Barcelona would need help from one of Real's remaining opponents to win the league.

Neymar will be suspended for one game following the sending off, but will likely pick up a further ban of up to three matches under article 117 of the disciplinary code for contempt of officials.

Barca were trailing 1-0 in their meeting with Malaga on Saturday when Neymar was shown a second yellow card for a poor challenge on Diego Llorente. This could result in up to three matches being added to Neymar's suspension.

Barcelona can still appeal the decision and are nearly certain to do so. There will be four games left in the league when he returns to the squad. Barcelona giants, Leonel Messi and Luis Suarez tried their best to level the score, but today was not their day.

As expected, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique didn't have many nice things to say about the officials from his club's previous game.

He changed his footwear whilst play was ongoing in Barca's two previous games against Granada and Sevilla, leaving his side temporarily down to 10 men.

"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".

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