Pictures: See Balotelli's latest training-ground bust-up
Published 17:03 15/12/11 By MirrorFootball
Mario Balotelli has been involved in a training ground dust-up with Manchester City team-mate Micah Richards.
The bad-boy striker - who had a similar dispute with then-City defender Jerome Boateng last December - and defender Richards had to be separated by team-mates James Milner and Yaya Toure.
Eyewitnesses reportedly claimed words were exchanged between the two players before they squared up to one another, with Richards particularly aggrieved about what was said.
City are leading the Premier League after 14 matches, but suffered their first domestic defeat at Chelsea on Monday.
That result means they could be replaced in top spot by neighbours and reigning champions Manchester United on the weekend - United are two points behind and play QPR on Sunday before City face Arsenal.
City insiders have dismissed the incident as "minor", and Richards also turned to Twitter to try to play it down.
He tweeted: "Me and mario are all good! these things happen in training & we shook hands after. it shows passion!"
This is only the latest in a series of player bust-ups on City's training pitches.
As well as the Boateng bout, the striker has also had a dust-up with defender Vincent Kompany, while photographers captured a melee involving striker Emmanuel Adebayor and centre-back Kolo Toure.
Headline-magnet Balotelli is a gift to journalists, making news off the pitch as well as on it.
He broke a club curfew before the Chelsea game to go for a curry and became a YouTube sensation last season when he tried and failed to put on a training bib, while his home was recently damaged by fireworks - which had been set off in the bathroom!