Allegri plays down Balotelli incident

Reports in Italy suggest the striker was allegedly the victim of racial abuse from Catania’s Nicolas Spolli, but the Milan boss has attempted to diffuse the situation

Both Milan and Catania have played down an incident that reportedly saw Mario Balotelli racially abused in Sunday’s Serie A fixture.

Balotelli – who scored Milan’s second goal on Sunday with a superb free-kick – was clearly agitated after having multiple run-ins with Catania defender Nicolas Spolli and was substituted shortly before the end following Kaka’s clincher to his side 3-1 up.

Widespread reports in the Italian media have since claimed the former Inter and Manchester City man was subject to a racial slur from the Argentine, but Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was unaware of any such incident.

“It was a fair game, I don’t think anything happened,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “Balotelli was a little tense and I preferred to remove him from the game, especially as were 3-1 up and he needs to rest.”

Catania coach, meanwhile, Luigi De Canio feels there must have been a misunderstanding, adding that Spolli would not engage in such abuse. 

“Spolli is a good man, so I think it must’ve been a misunderstanding,” he said

Milan came from behind to end their five-game winless streak at the Serie A bottom club, with goals from captain Riccardo Montolivo, Balotelli and Kaka overturning Lucas Castro’s early opener for the hosts. 

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