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Copa del Rey: Luis Suarez faces ban as Barca beat scrappy Espanyol 4-1

Barcelona: Barcelona striker Luis Suarez faces a ban of up to three Copa del Rey (King's Cup) matches after being cited in the referee's report for calling Espanyol players 'a waste of space' at the end of a heated Catalan derby.

Barcelonas Luis Suarez reacts after missing a scoring opportunity during a Spanish Copa del Rey Round-of-16 first leg tie against Espanyol on Wednesday
Barcelonas Luis Suarez reacts after missing a scoring opportunity during a Spanish Copa del Rey Round-of-16 first leg tie against Espanyol on Wednesday

Barca won the first leg of the Copa de Rey last-16 tie between the sides 4-1 on Wednesday as Espanyol had two players sent-off and were lucky to escape further punishment as goalkeeper Pau Lopez's violent stamp on Lionel Messi went unseen.

However, Suarez was booked for a clash with Lopez, who is expected to receive a one to three-game Cup ban for sparking off a brawl in the tunnel that security personnel had to break up.

Messi scores brace
Messi scored a brace, while a Gerard Pique strike and a sensational Neymar volley handed Barca a commanding advantage ahead of the second leg on January 13.

"Whilst all the Espanyol players climbed the stairs in the tunnel to the dressing rooms, he (Suarez) waited for them and confronted them saying, 'Here I'm waiting for you, come. You are a waste of space,' referee Juan Martinez Munuera wrote in his report.

"That provoked a clash between players from both clubs forcing security personnel and managerial staff from both teams to intervene."

Espanyol's physical approach had frustrated Barca in an equally fiery clash between the two in La Liga on Saturday which finished 0-0.

Barca manager Luis Enrique later said that match officials had failed to "make sure this is football and not American football".

Suarez's controversial career has seen him receive four long bans — three for biting opponents and once for allegedly racially abusing French defender Patrice Evra during his time at Liverpool. Yet, the Uruguayan's behaviour since joining Barcelona 18 months ago has been exemplary.

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