Atletico Madrid could face the UEFA match as a result of the hotspot series that marred its Champions League match against Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The Spanish champions were knocked out of the competition after a goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano, which led to a 1-0 victory for Manchester City on aggregate, but clashes on the pitch and in the tunnel after the match between the two groups overshadowed the course of the match.
Atlético’s players were not slow to deal with their Man City counterparts, leaving Phil Foden to need treatment for a head injury after a strong challenge from Felipe early in the first half.
The Atletico defender later received a second yellow card for sending off the same player, before team-mate Stefan Savic – formerly of Manchester City – sparked a scuffle when he tried to maneuver Foden while he was injured.
Savic head-butted Raheem Sterling and pulled Jack Grealish’s hair during the same incident, but the pitch stewards and the VAR chose not to send off the Atletico centre-back.
The ugly scenes continued after the final whistle, with footage showing continued tension as players headed into the tunnel. Sime Vrsaljko, who was an unused Atletico substitute, was seen throwing a bottle in Aymeric Laporte’s direction, as police rushed to calm the scene.
While referee Daniel Seibert issued only one red card last night, more punishment could follow, as UEFA said it would wait to receive reports from the referee and the match delegate before deciding whether to open disciplinary action.
European football’s governing body can appoint an ethics and disciplinary inspector to carry out a full investigation into what happened.
UEFA thinks a lot after the bad fight
Ben Ransom, Sky Sports News correspondent in Madrid
“In preparation we focused a lot on methods. Guardiola before the match was talking about the aggressiveness he was expecting, but I think he was expecting it to be a little less than what we saw last night because it was starting to boil.
“There were a number of hot spots. The first time we saw it was really bad on the pitch, that scuffle that then broke out was the intervention on Phil Foden, and Felipe was eventually sent off. Stefan Savic, the former Manchester City player, was involved himself. There have been shots of him pulling Jack Grealish’s hair, putting his head in another player.
“I don’t remember being in a game where there were so many players involved in such a brawl, and it was physical. It was really bad and it lasted for a long time.
“Normally everything dies very quickly and there are often a lot of peacemakers – that was not the case last night. I think it just got to the point where Atletico’s frustration got worse.
“It all started again in the tunnel. From my point of view, the players there were being taken care of and the security was doing everything they could to prevent them from having things thrown at them by the Atletico Madrid fans.
“And then, while they were disappearing from view, you could see them meeting again, the police rushed to separate them in the tunnel. So there was a lot of things for UEFA to think about.”
Pep: Atletico can play the way they want | Simeone: Some praise us with contempt
Pep Guardiola refused to criticize Atletico’s post-match style, instead insisting he has been consistently positive about Simeone’s tactics and the former Argentina midfielder can shape his squad the way he likes.
In response to Spanish reporters, the Manchester City boss said: “You’re the one who said Simeone’s cycle was always the same, it was you, three or four months ago. That’s what I said when they didn’t win matches. It was you, don’t put it on me.”
“I have always said good things about the club and the team. El Cholo [Diego Simeone] He can play the way he wants, nothing else.”
Speaking after his team’s exit, Simeone said he felt that people had praised Atletico’s style “with disdain”.
“I have no reason to comment about whether someone is saying good or bad things,” Simeone said. “Those with a broad vocabulary are often very intelligent and can praise you with disdain.
“But those of us who probably don’t have the same amount of vocabulary, we’re not stupid either.”
Simeone also denied seeing any of the scenes in the tunnel, saying: “I didn’t watch it, I stayed in the stadium clapping for the fans and greeting everyone in the stadium, and by the time I went upstairs, everyone had gone up.”
Koki attacks the city ‘a waste of time’ | The Stones are proud of their teammates
Atlético captain Koke defended his team’s antics during the visit to Manchester City and instead criticized what he saw as a waste of time by Guardiola’s side.
“The match takes you so crazy when you see that you have chances and they fall to the ground and waste time,” Koke said.
“Often we are criticized for this situation, but today it was. Let’s see what people think of this. Today it was seen, we are Atletico Madrid and I am proud of this team.
“I’m proud of my teammates for this effort. I don’t have anything to scold the team for. I’m proud of everyone and the fans, who lost, kept applauding us after the match. This is Atlético.”
Meanwhile, Man City defender John Stones admitted that the mass brawl at the end of the match was “not good to talk about” but praised his team’s reaction to Atleti’s actions.
“We know that sometimes they try to make things happen like this and I think we handled it well,” Stones said. “It’s not nice to talk about. I don’t want to get into that because we played incredibly against a team that is experienced in what they do on two legs.
“I’m so proud of guys about how we control our temper. It’s so easy to get drawn into things like that. So glad you had a great night.
“We knew for sure it wasn’t an easy place to come to. It’s my first time here and it’s a hostile environment. It was a tough night in all respects but how we defended and how we controlled ourselves was unbelievable.”
Stones also addressed suggestions targeting Foden, who was the victim of a Felipe yellow-card violator, by Atleti players.
“[They started] Stones said of Atleti’s handling of Foden early on, “Phil has been a threat in both games, especially when he came on the first time, he had an immediate impact.
“Then in this match, he drove us up the field and won yards. He was fantastic. He feels it after the game now.”
How did the papers respond to the collapse of Atletico?
On the one night that Atletico Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League after a bad draw, the British media criticized Simeone’s team for their actions.
daily mirror Sports writer Mike Walters tweeted on Wednesday night: “Imagine supporting a team managed by Simeone, including Felipe and Savic, and he really wants them to win. What an animal group.”
while, daily Mail Football writer Jacques Gauguin, who was at the Wanda Metropolitano, called Atleti’s actions “really shameful” while Martin Samuel of the same newspaper called the Spanish side a “painful loser”.
TalkSPORT host Adrian Durham added on Twitter: “Atleti Simeone is completely outlaw. Glad they’re out,” while writer Paul Hayward added, “All the snarling and Atletico couldn’t score in either leg. Savic and Felipe: awful.”
However, there was a very different reaction to Atletico’s performance in the Spanish newspapers on Thursday morning, with Simeone’s team praising their performance.
Marker The title went “Heart without the award,” adding, “Atletico tried to the end against a City team that didn’t play for anything,” while Like “The great Atletico are one step away from charging extra time against a shrinking city,” he wrote.
In their players ratings of the game, Marker He also stated that “the world needs a leader like Savic”.