Mascherano: Neymar should not receive added suspension

Javier Mascherano believes Barcelona teammate Neymar should be able to play in the El Clasico against Real Madrid despite his red card against Malaga last weekend.

Neymar was given a second yellow card – and his marching orders – for a cynical foul on Diego Llorente as Barca slipped to 2-0 defeat at the La Rosaleda Stadium on Saturday.

The standard punishment for the Brazil international's dismissal in La Liga is a one-match ban but the 25-year-old could cop an extra game in the stands because he sarcastically applauded the official as he was leaving the field.

If his suspension were to be increased, Neymar would then miss the clash against rivals Real Madrid scheduled for the Bernabeu on April 23.

Argentina international Mascherano however says his South American compatriot should only sit out a single game, citing previous examples of similar acts that have not been punished by longer suspensions.

Mascherano told reporters: "We'll have to see what happens. There have been other players who have done the same and have only received one-game suspensions. We'll see.

"It is very easy to talk from the sofa at home and very difficult to make decisions in high intensity. Sometimes you are wrong, it has happened to me, and there is nothing left to learn from the error.

"We are not going to point blame between us. When someone is wrong or gets into trouble, we tend to try to help him."