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Inter Milan’s Icardi, Perisic banned for referee offences

Milan (AFP) – Inter Milan pair Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic were handed two-match bans for offences against the referee during their 1-0 defeat to Juventus, Serie A officials announced on Monday.

As Juventus secured an 18th win of the season on Sunday that pushed them six points clear of second-placed Napoli, Inter endured a frustrating end to what had been one of the best league games of the season, with their Champions League qualifying hopes taking a hit.

Croatia midfielder Perisic was shown a straight red card for comments he made to the referee in the fourth and last minute of added-on time.

“In the 49th minute of the second half (Perisic) repeated a series of seriously disrespectful expressions to the match referee,” a Serie A statement said.

Icardi was incensed that fouls by Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Mandzukic, which Inter coach Stefano Pioli said warranted penalties, went unpunished.

The Argentine expressed his ire by “making insults and rude gestures to the referee as well as kicking the ball at him, without hitting him”, added the statement.

The result left Inter, treble winners in 2010 when Jose Mourinho guided them to the Champions League, in fifth place 12 points behind Juventus.

Inter are aiming for a top three finish but if Roma, in third, don’t lose to Fiorentina on Tuesday, Pioli’s men will drop to six points off Champions League qualification.

Inter are likely to appeal, but Pioli raged after the game: “In the first half we had decisions go against us when we were in the Juventus area. For me, they were clear.

“We should have had two penalties in the opening half. Mandzukic and Chiellini both fouled Icardi, and when you don’t get those (decisions) the whole match changes.”

Icardi was one of three Argentinians, along with Juve pair Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, being watched in Turin by national team coach Edgardo Bauza.

Icardi and Perisic will miss league fixtures at home to Empoli and away to Bologna but return in time for the crucial San Siro clash against Roma in three weeks’ time.

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