Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been banned for four matches by the Football Association after his second dismissal for violent conduct this season.
28-year-old Aguero, was sent off for a high and late challenge on Chelsea defender, David Luiz in Saturday’s 3-1 home loss.
He will miss City’s matches with Leicester City, Watford, Arsenal and Hull City this month. But City are sure to feel Aguero’s absence harder, with the striker already scoring 10 times in the league this season.
The Argentina forward’s previous dismissal was in August, when he received a retrospective red card for a challenge on West Ham’s Winston Reid.
His four-game punishment reflects that earlier incident, and he will now be left watching from the stands when City host Arsenal on December 18.
City’s Fernandinho was also sent off after he clashed with Cesc Fabregas in the scuffle that followed Aguero’s lunge, and the midfielder will serve a three-match ban, meaning he will only be available for the Hull game on Boxing Day.
Chelsea won the game 3-1 to remain top with an eighth successive victory, but both clubs can anticipate FA disciplinary action for a failure to control their players.
Fàbregas’s role in Fernandinho’s dismissal could also be scrutinized after it appeared he struck the City player in the face, prompting the furious reaction.
The City defender, Nicolás Otamendi, meanwhile, received his fifth booking of the season on Saturday to prompt an automatic one-match suspension, so Pep Guardiola will be without Sergio Aguero and two other players for Saturday’s trip to Leicester.
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The two red cards against Chelsea took City’s number of on-field dismissals to five in the early months of Guardiola’s reign. Fernandinho and Claudio Bravo were sent off in Champions League action, while Nolito was also red carded in September’s win over Bournemouth.