Zlatan Ibrahimovic Suspended Three Games, Will Miss Key Juventus Clash

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 05: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan reacts next to referee Nicola Rizzoli during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 5, 2012 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss three Serie A matches after picking up a suspension for slapping Napoli's Salvatore Aronica.

On Sunday, AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card for a slap to the face of Napoli defender Salvatore Aronica. The referee did not originally see that the Milan forward made contact with Aronica, and showed Ibrahimovic a red card after he was informed of the incident by his linesman. As is customary with receiving a straight red card for 'fighting', Ibrahimovic will be suspended for three Serie A games.

This suspension does not apply to Coppa Italia matches, so Ibrahimovic will be available for selection for Milan's Coppa Italia semifinal, first leg match against Udinese on Wednesday. If Ibrahimovic does not decide to appeal or if the ban is upheld upon appeal, Ibrahimovic will miss Milan's league matches against Cesena, Juventus and Palermo.

That middle match will almost certainly be one of the biggest matches of the season in not only Serie A, but all of Europe. The two teams are currently the top two in Serie A and the two favorites for the Scudetto. Milan are still without Antonio Cassano and are dealing with a recent injury to Alexandre Pato. New signing Maxi Lopez will likely be thrust into a key role in the team right away.

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