Nicolo Barella is set to MISS both legs of Inter Milan’s Champions League clash with Liverpool after UEFA bans the Italy midfielder for two matches for punching Real Madrid’s Eder Militao
- Midfielder Nicolo Barella is likely to play no part when Inter Milan face Liverpool
- The Italy regular was sent off in their final Champions League group stage game
- The Serie A frontrunners have reportedly opted not to appeal his two-match ban
- Barella’s ban is a boost for the Reds ahead of the first leg of their round of 16 tie
Nicolo Barella will miss Inter Milan’s Champions League round of 16 tie against Liverpool after UEFA told the Serie A leaders that the Italy midfielder will sit out two matches for his controversial red card in the group stage, according to a report.
The 24-year-old has been almost ever-present for Inter this season, playing in all but 44 minutes of their opening Champions League matches so far – including a bizarre dismissal.
Having tangled with Real Madrid‘s Eder Militao while contesting the ball, Barella punched the defender on the leg in an incident that saw his opponents square up to the Inter mainstay before referee Felix Brych produced the red card.
Nicolo Barella and Eder Militao confronted each other after clashing in the Champions League
The Inter Milan midfielder was adjudged to have punched the Real Madrid defender in the leg
UEFA’s control, ethical and disciplinary committee now appears to have ordered Barella to miss both legs of the Italian giants’ first match in this season’s knockout stage, with Gazzetta saying Inter will not appeal.
A ruling document shared by the outlet from the tournament organisers shows that Brych’s report recorded Barella’s unusual transgression as ‘assault’, ensuring a ban of more than one game.
The absence of a player who is considered a future Inter captain is a considerable blow for Simone Inzaghi as the Nerazzurri boss plots the Premier League hopefuls’ downfall.
Liverpool are formidable visitors to the San Siro for the first leg on February 16 after completing a perfect group stage campaign, winning all six of their matches.
Liverpool will be boosted by Barella’s ban ahead of their round of 16 tie with the Italian giants
Inter finished five points behind Madrid in Group D after losing both of their matches against the Liga frontrunners.
The reigning Italian champions have reached the round of 16 for the first time in ten years and are also likely to be without injured forward Joaquin Correa for the first leg.
Barella’s punishment was deemed harsh by some on the night of the 1-0 defeat at the Bernabeu on December 7 which ended their hopes of winning the group.
Champions League managerial newcomer Inzaghi leads his side to Anfield for the second leg on March 8.