Newcastle United duo Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie were involved in a furious bust-up at the club’s training ground ahead of their defeat to Chelsea, according to reports.
It is claimed the Magpies captain and winger had to be separated by team-mates TWICE – first following a verbal row on the training pitch, before their quarrel became physical in the dressing room.
According to the Daily Mail, the pair were fighting over manager Rafael Benitez’s tactics ahead of their clash against Chelsea at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Benitez was criticised for the way he set up his Magpies team with a five-man defence in an ultra-defensive display, which saw the hosts suffer a 2-1 defeat after ending the game with only 18 per cent possession.
It is claimed 24-year-old Lascelles was unhappy about playing on the right side on a three-man central defence.
Fiery Scotland international Ritchie is said to have told his skipper to suck it up and follow the manager’s orders, which led to their fracas.
The Mail report that the pair both spoke with Benitez following the incident, shook hands and agreed to move on as team-mates.
Lascelles was dropped from the 2-1 defeat to Maurizio Sarri’s Blues, while Ritchie started the game at St James’ Park.
It’s not the first time young skipper Lascelles has come to blows with a team-mate.
Last season, the 24-year-old had a scrap with Mo Diame, reportedly calling the Senegalese midfielder out on his performances and telling him to up his game.
Newcastle have picked up one point from their opening three games, with a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham, followed by a 0-0 draw at Cardiff before the Chelsea loss.