Report: Diego Simeone Faces Europa League Final Ban After Sending-Off at Arsenal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 26, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Diego Simeone, Manager of Atletico Madrid looks on during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final leg one match between Arsenal FC and Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadium on April 26, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid could be without manager Diego Simeone if they qualify for the UEFA Europa League final after he was sent off in Thursday's semi-final first leg against Arsenal.

Los Rojiblancos came from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium, but Sky Sports reported Simeone is facing a two-match suspension after he was sent to the stands after only 12 minutes (h/t Calciomercato.com).

Antoine Griezmann's late away goal has revitalised Atletico's chances of qualifying for the final after Sime Vrsaljko was sent off with only nine minutes played in north London, but Simeone may not be present even if they make it through.

Vrsaljko's dismissal had clearly already incensed the Argentinian, before another incident led him to criticise referee Clement Turpin minutes later, earning him a one-way ticket to the stands for the evening.

Some might argue one of Vrsaljko's cautions were undeserved or that Simeone's own dismissal was unjust, but Sky Sports' La Liga expert Guillem Balague said the manager's expulsion was justified:

It would be folly for Arsenal not to think Atleti will be better prepared with or without their manager on the touchlines for the return visit to the Wanda Metropolitano next Thursday.

Los Rojiblancos have been hard enough to best at home this season anyway, conceding a La Liga low of four home goals in 17 outings, and now they have an away goal to their name as reason to sit back somewhat.

BT Sport's Richard Jolly showed evidence as to why we shouldn't have been surprised at Simeone's sending-off on Thursday given his record when it comes to allowing emotions to bubble in high-stakes situations:

Diego Costa may have more say against his former Premier League foes in the return leg, depending on how badly Atletico need a goal, but the fact remains that the current aggregate scoreline runs in their favour.

The major positive to Simeone being in the stands is we may see more restrained celebrations such as this, via ESPN FC's Robbie Dunne:

Either Marseille or Red Bull Salzburg awaits the victor of this clash in the final, with the French outfit having taken a 2-0 lead in their first leg at the Stade Velodrome on Thursday.

Simeone won the Europa League at the end of his first season in Madrid and is within touching distance of doing so again, but he faces the prospect of sitting out their decisive showdown even if they advance.

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