Ibrahimovic banned for three matches

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss AC Milan’s crucial derby with Inter Milan after receiving a three-game suspension for punching Bari’s Marco Rossi.

Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red for the incident during Milan’s shock 1-1 draw with Bari on Sunday, which occurred after Rossi marked the star striker off a cross in the second half.

A frustrated Ibrahimovic, who has not scored a goal from free play in seven league games, punched Rossi after the ball had been cleared and was duly sent on his way by referee Christian Brighi.

A statement from Serie A’s disciplinary committee read: “Three-match ban for Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Milan for irregular behaviour after having hit an opposition player in the abdomen, making him fall to the ground without injury consequences.”

The club are expected to appeal the suspension, which would see the Sweden international miss games against Palermo, Fiorentina and, on April 3, Inter.

Milan lead the Serie A table but are facing a strong challenge from Inter, who have closed to within five points under new boss Leonardo with nine games remaining in the campaign.

Ibrahimovic leads Milan’s scoring with 14 goals this season but has been out of form since February.