AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has apologised for headbutting Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan after Spurs' 1-0 Champions League first leg win at the San Siro, though the Italy international looks set to face disciplinary action after UEFA revealed it will be investigating the incident.
Gattuso lost his cool on a number of occasions and was lucky to stay on the pitch although the yellow card he did pick up rules him out of the second leg at White Hart Lane.
He clashed with Jordan near the touchline during the second half, grabbing the Scottish assistant - who represented Milan in his playing days - by the throat as they argued. After the final whistle, Gattuso confronted Jordan again and aimed a headbutt into the former striker's face before being dragged away.
It was a disgraceful end to a frustrating night for Gattuso. He had punched the ground furiously when he received the yellow he knew would come with a suspension and he also escaped punishment for an off-the-ball clash with Tottenham goal-scorer Peter Crouch.
UEFA will investigate the incident, with the organisation's Control and Disciplinary Body set to meet next Monday, and Gattuso said he will accept whatever punishment he receives.
But Jordan also appeared to play his part in the feud, visibly calling out at the hard-tackling midfielder during both confrontations. Gattuso confirmed that Jordan was "breaking my balls" but he took full responsibility for his actions and admitted he lost control.
"I lost my head and I'm taking responsibility because I did something I shouldn't have done," Gattuso said. "Jordan was breaking my balls throughout the second half but that doesn't justify my reaction. I was annoyed about the words I'd exchanged with Jordan.
"We were both speaking Scottish given that I played in his country in Glasgow but I'm not going to say what was said. I made a mistake doing what I did to an older person, and that's it. I'll wait and see what (UEFA) decides."
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said he expected Gattuso to come in for scrutiny.
"At the end of the game it was an unpleasant episode, there was a bit of nervousness, I don't know why it happened. I didn't like this episode, it's not nice to see, of course it will be looked at (by UEFA), there was certainly a reason that he behaved this way but you can't excuse it."
The ill-tempered match was marred by a horror tackle by Mathieu Flamini that saw Vedran Corluka leave the stadium on crutches. Flamini only received a yellow card for his launching two-footed effort, a fact that angered Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp. Flamini apologised to Corluka in the dressing rooms after the match and the Spurs right-back will get X-rays on Wednesday.
Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati will also go in for scans on Wednesday after being taken off with concussion in the first half. In just another incident during an eventful match, his replacement Marco Amelia pushed forward in the final moments as Milan tried desperately to equalise from a corner despite the fact this was only the first of two legs. The risky move hinted at desperation by the hosts and Redknapp said Gattuso's actions showed his opponents had collectively lost their way.
"They lost their heads at the end there - they were rattled for sure - and I guess that's a good sign," he said.