On Sunday, Gonzalo Higuain lost his mind. Earning a second yellow card late in the game to get sent off, the Napoli striker became unglued, and according to reports, he and Napoli will pay a heavy price for it.
Despite optimism from his brother-slash-agent that Higuain would only receive a one-match ban, reports indicate that the striker will be forced to sit out four matches, including the mandatory one-match suspension for earning his second yellow card. The other three were earned for his post-sending off meltdown, when he screamed obscenities, shoved the referee, and kicked an Udinese player. It was an ugly scene, and seeing such a harsh suspension is little surprise.
Napoli are expected to appeal the ruling -- no surprise there either -- and they'll be hoping to get Higuain back sooner if at all possible, considering the brutal end to the season that they face without Higuain.
The timing of such a long ban is terrible for Napoli. With just seven matches left, they trail Juventus by six points after their loss to Udinese, and have a mere four-point cushion on third-place AS Roma. The giallorossi are one of the teams Napoli are set to face while Higuain is out, which will likely be a tough match without their 30-goal scoring hitman.
They can probably survive home matches against Hellas Verona and Bologna without Higuain, but in road trips to Roma and Inter Milan, Napoli will miss him dearly. Manolo Gabbiadini will need to step up in a big way over the next few weeks, or else Napoli's season is sunk. A fiery temper like Higuain's can certainly be an asset at times, but when it backfires, it hurts a lot, and this time it could prove a crippling blow to Napoli's campaign.