Simeone: I didn't throw the ball!


Diego Simeone insists he did not throw the ball that earned him a sending off during Atletico Madrid's 1-0 victory over Malaga, but says the referee was right to banish him to the stands.

A ball appeared to be hurled from the Atleti bench in the direction of Ricardo Horta as he darted down the left wing in the closing stages of the first half, with Simeone's side outnumbered.

Horta was unfazed by the incident, but Simeone was given a stern talking to on the field after the half-time whistle was blown and did not emerge for the second period, instead taking his seat in the stands.

While some reports claimed Simeone was responsible for throwing the ball, the Argentinian suggested it came from elsewhere in the Atleti technical area.

Nevertheless, he was content to accept the punishment on behalf of his team. 

"Clearly the referee made the right decision, it's what the regulations say," he said. 

"He did what he had to do, expel the coach. [There is] not much more to comment.

"It was the guy who was on our side, but that doesn't mean anything."

Angel Correa came off the bench to score the only goal as Atleti, temporarily at least, moved top of the Liga table.

"The start was not good," Simeone added. "Up to the 25th minute cost us - we played individually and that led us to be hasty and not to have the clearest path in attack.

"From the 25th minute onwards we improved and in the second half Correa revolutionised the team. That brought us the victory in a very important moment."