Football

Aguero banned for four games

City striker to miss key matches against Leicester and Arsenal, Fernandinho also punished

Sergio Aguero has been banned for four matches, as expected, by the Football Association following his weekend dismissal which prompted a fractious finale to Manchester City's loss to Chelsea.

City striker Aguero was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Chelsea defender David Luiz, which led to a bench-clearing melee at the Etihad Stadium last Saturday.

Fernandinho was also sent off for shoving Cesc Fabregas during the incident, with City's Brazilian midfielder banned for three matches, as indicated on the disciplinary pages of the FA website.

Premier League leaders Chelsea won the game 3-1 for an eighth successive victory, but both clubs can anticipate FA disciplinary action for a failure to control their players.

Fabregas' role in Fernandinho's dismissal could also be scrutinised after it appeared he struck the City man in the face, prompting the Brazil international's furious reaction.

Aguero's offence was effectively his second dismissal of the season after he served a three-match ban for violent conduct, issued retrospectively after he was adjudged to have elbowed West Ham's Winston Reid in August.

The Argentina striker will miss City's matches with Leicester, Watford, Arsenal and Hull this month.

Fernandinho will be available for the Hull game on Boxing Day.

City defender Nicolas Otamendi, meanwhile, received his fifth booking of the season last Saturday to prompt an automatic one-match suspension, so Pep Guardiola will be without three players for Saturday's trip to Leicester.

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 goalkeeper Claudio Bravo were sent off in Champions League action, while Nolito was handed his marching orders in September's win over Bournemouth.

SUSPENDED

Fernandinho is also suspended for City's Champions League Group C match against Celtic at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

At a press conference yesterday, Guardiola said the club will accept the bans on Aguero and Fernandinho.

"I have no regrets about how we played (against Chelsea), he said.

"What I said before, it's a pity what happened in the last minute for many circumstances and of course we are going to accept the ban and work with other players for the next games."

Guardiola is expected to ring the changes as City will finish second behind Barcelona even if they beat Celtic.

"There will be changes tomorrow definitely," said Guardiola.

"I am so happy to give minutes to people who deserved to play the last games. Whether Sergio (Aguero) will play or not, I will decide tomorrow."

Asked what he thinks of finishing second in the group, the Spaniard added: "I prefer to finish first. Why? Maybe because we won more games…

"From my experience in the Champions League, it is how you arrive in February… a lot of things will happen before." - WIRE SERVICES

Sergio Agueromanchester cityCHELSEA (EPL)