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Ibrahimovic banned for three Serie A matches


AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been banned for three Serie A matches for hitting an opponent, ruling him out of a key clash with Italian league leader Juventus.

In the 64th minute of Milan's 0-0 draw with Napoli on Sunday, Ibrahimovic was expelled for slapping his right hand on the side of defender Salvatore Aronica's face.

Ibrahimovic will miss a difficult game at Udinese next weekend, a game at Cesena the following weekend and the match with Juventus on Feb. 25.

Milan trails Juventus by just one point but the Turin club also has a game in hand

Ibrahimovic has scored 15 goals in Serie A thus far, one behind league leader Antonio Di Natale of Udinese.

Last season, Ibrahimovic was banned five matches for disciplinary incidents.

Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri was also expelled Sunday, for excessive protesting in the 89th minute. He was given a warning and a €3,000 fine.