With the La Liga title racing going down to the wire, Atletico Madrid may be without manager Diego Simeone as the prospect of a three-match ban lingers over the Argentinian.
The 45-year-old was sent off by referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz after appearing to tell a boy to throw a ball onto the pitch as Malaga were counter-attacking in first-half injury-time.
The move came to nothing but it didn’t stop the officials from making the decision to send Simeone to the stands for the second half, despite the Atletico boss protesting his innocence.
After the game, Simeone accepted the dismissal but insisted he had nothing to do with the ball entering the field of play.
He said: ‘The images will show [what happened]. It’ll become clear.
‘It’s clear that the referee made the right decision as per the regulations. He did what he had to do. There’s little more that can be said.
‘It was a boy beside me [who threw the ball], but that doesn’t mean anything.’
Replays appeared to show Simeone gesturing before the ball made its way onto the pitch, with some witnesses saying it was a ball boy next to the home side’s dugout.
Despite Atletico’s passionate boss having to watch from the stands, the La Liga title-hopefuls earned a narrow win over Malaga following a strike from substitute Angel Correa.
But news of this potential ban would rule Simeone out of his side’s crucial last few matches.