Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone sent off after second ball thrown on pitch

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone was sent to the stands during his side's 1-0 La Liga win at home to Malaga on Saturday evening after a ball was thrown onto the pitch from near the home dugout at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

The game was still scoreless coming up to half-time, with Malaga looking to counter-attack, but play was stopped by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz after a second ball entered the playing surface.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible, but the referee was seen speaking to Simeone as the teams left the pitch at the break, and when the game restarted the Colchoneros coach was seated in the stands.

La Liga rules state that the head coach is responsible for the behaviour of the entire bench.

Asked about the incident at his postmatch news conference, Simeone said: "It's clear that the referee took the correct decision, following the rules. He did what he had to do, sending off the coach. It was a kid who was beside us, but that does not change anything."

Atletico won the match when substitute Angel Correa netted from 20 yards on 62 minutes, which keeps them firmly in the title race as they prepare for the final three games of the season.

Asked how a potential touchline suspension would affect the team, Simeone remained positive about his situation, saying his position in the stands inspired his decision to send Correa on from the bench.

"You see things different from higher up," Simeone said. "I was right to think about Correa, I saw that well. I hope it [any potential suspension] will not be for too many weeks."

He stressed that the team must keep their feet on the ground if they are to reclaim the Primera Division title.

"We go from game to game, in the most committed way, and focus on not looking too far ahead," he said. "We will have some big moments in these three weeks."