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Real Madrid suffer another blow as Rodrygo suspended for El Clasico after bizarre Castilla red card

The Brazilian youngster was in line for a return to the first team following Eden Hazard’s injury, but his dismissal will rule him out

Injury-hit Real Madrid have suffered another loss to their attacking options after Rodrygo was sent off playing for their ‘B’ team, meaning he will be ineligible for El Clasico with Barcelona next weekend.

The youngster earned a second yellow card for goading the SS Reyes goalkeeper after scoring a fine solo goal to give Raul’s Castilla side – who play in the third tier of Spanish football – a 2-0 lead with two minutes of the game remaining.

The Brazilian was playing for Real’s second string as a result of missing out on being in the matchday squad in the Blancos’ last three La Liga games.

A serious injury to Eden Hazard meant that situation was liable to change, but Rodrygo’s dismissal in Sunday’s game means he will not be able to participate as Real attempt to overhaul Barca’s two-point lead at the top of the Primera Division standings.

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane had reportedly spoken to Rodrygo personally on Friday to reassure him he was part of his plans, but a surfeit of striking options meant he would have to sit out.

Hazard, who has had an injury-plagued start to life in the Spanish capital after a big money move from Chelsea this summer, picked up a fractured ankle in Saturday’s shock loss to Levante.

The wide forward is likely to miss three to four months, putting his participation in the remainder of Madrid’s season, as well as Euro 2020 with Belgium, in some doubt.

Rodrygo will be eligible to replace the Belgium international in Los Blancos squad to take on Manchester City in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash on Wednesday.

Madrid have won just once in their last three league games, a run of form that has seen them overtaken by their fierce rivals Barca, not just in the table, but in the overall Liga goals scored charts for the first time in history.

Barca now have 6,151 league goals, while Madrid have 6,150.

Nineteen-year-old Rodrygo has scored two goals in 12 La Liga games in his first season in Spain, but has four in just four games in the Champions League, including a hat-trick in his first European game at Santiago Bernabeu against Galatasaray.

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