Inter Milan, Roberto Mancini deny dressing-room unrest after Lazio loss

Inter Milan have hit back at reports of unrest within their team prior to and after their 2-1 defeat to Lazio on Sunday evening.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed on Monday that there had been a series of bust-ups at the weekend, starting with Adem Ljajic's refusal to get changed after being told he was only going to be a substitute.

Coach Roberto Mancini is then reported to have been furious with his players at half-time and ordered Stevan Jovetic to come off, only to change his mind and keep him on. Mauro Icardi's anger at Felipe Melo for giving away a penalty was seen by everybody at the stadium, but La Gazzetta claims in its reconstruction of events at the San Siro that the rancour was carried into the dressing room.

Jovetic vented his anger at Mancini for substituting him just 13 minutes into the second half, and Ljajic had to intervene to separate the pair, with Fredy Guarin siding with Mancini. Icardi and Felipe Melo, meanwhile, continued their argument with raised voices.

According to the Serie A leaders, La Gazzetta has exaggerated what actually happened within the Nerazzurri's dressing room.

"Inter are top of the table and just lost one game yesterday," read a statement on the club's official website.

"Some perfectly normal dressing-room situations have been blown out of proportion this evening and made out to be events that never actually took place.

"As Roberto Mancini said via his Twitter account, 'People shouldn't be making up alleged or rumoured splits or fallings-out within the team. The lads have been fantastic up until now and we're still top of the league.'"

Sunday evening's defeat was only Inter's third of the season and it saw their advantage at the top of the standings cut to a single point going into the winter break.

Their next fixture is at Empoli on Jan. 6, followed by games against Sassuolo, Atalanta and Carpi before they face AC Milan in the derby at the end of January.