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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Balotelli ban reduced by one game

A three-match ban handed to AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli for insulting a match official has been reduced by one game on appeal, the Lega Serie A has confirmed.

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Balotelli, 22, activated a one-match ban by picking up a fourth yellow card of the season during a 2-2 draw with Fiorentina but his post-match altercation with an assistant referee earned him a further two-match penalty.

The Italy international missed last weekend's 1-1 draw with Napoli and will sit out Sunday night's top-three encounter with Juventus but can feature against Catania at San Siro on April 28.

A statement published on legaseriea.it read: "AC Milan have challenged the penalty of a three-match suspension imposed on Mario Balotelli after the Fiorentina-Milan game of April 7.

"The appeal has been partially successful and, as a result, the penalty is reduced to two matches with the third disqualification being commuted to a fine of 20,000 euros.''

Balotelli has scored seven goals in eight games for Milan since leaving Manchester City in January.

The Rossoneri are currently third in Serie A and trail second-placed Napoli by four points with Fiorentina their nearest challengers for the last Champions League spot.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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