Micah makes light of Mario fracas

December 15, 2011

Reports and photographs have emerged suggesting the pair clashed during a practice session ahead of Sunday's Premier League game against Arsenal. Richards wrote on his Twitter account: "Me & mario are all good! these things happen in training & we shook hands after. it shows passion!" The incident comes as the league leaders look to get back to winning ways after losing their unbeaten record at Chelsea on Monday. It is also not the first of its kind to make the news at the club over the past year. City's training ground at Carrington is flanked by a public footpath and photographers can therefore gain relatively straightforward access to the squad's sessions. Balotelli clashed with Jerome Boateng and Vincent Kompany last season while Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure were also pictured seemingly fighting. This latest matter also brings Balotelli into the news once again for matters other than his performances on the field. Most infamously, the fire service was called to the 21-year-old's house in Cheshire in October after fireworks set off from inside the bathroom started a blaze. The Italian was also in the headlines earlier this week after being spotted out in Manchester city centre in the early hours of Sunday morning - less than 48 hours before the game at Chelsea - but manager Roberto Mancini dismissed that as unimportant. Despite these incidents, Balotelli has impressed on the pitch this term, scoring 11 goals. City, meanwhile, may have to play the second leg of their Europa League knock-out match in February at 5pm on a Tuesday. City and Manchester United are both seeded for Friday's draw for the round of 32 - meaning they will both have the advantage of playing the second leg at home. But the police and local authorities have ruled out both matches taking place on the same night, and as reigning league champions United get priority under UEFA's competition regulations - meaning it is City who would be forced to move. Unless manager Roberto Mancini gives up the advantage of playing the second leg at home, City will have to play on the Tuesday or Wednesday but kicking off at 5pm to make sure the match is completed before Champions League matches start at 7.45pm. United would as usual play their second leg on the Thursday February 23 at Old Trafford at 7.45pm. UEFA sources say City would be able to reverse their fixture and give up home advantage in the second leg - but their opponents from Friday's draw would have to agree. The same situation arose with Everton and Liverpool two years ago and then the Blues had to play the first leg against Sporting Lisbon on the Tuesday, though with a 5.45pm kick-off. As City's home match will be the second leg there will be the possibility of extra-time and penalties, meaning UEFA will insist it can kick off no later than 5pm in order not to clash with Champions League games.