Milan deny Balotelli walkout

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AC Milan have moved to play down the actions of Mario Balotelli after he stormed down the tunnel during the Coppa Italia final defeat to Juventus on Saturday.

The 25-year-old striker had to settle for as place on the bench in the cup finale, which went into exta-time after a goalless 90 minutes at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Balotelli looked set to enter the fray during the second half of extra-time, but an injury to Milan skipper Riccardo Montolivo saw Jose Mauri brought on instead.

The Italy international then headed to the dressing room, with Juve scoring through Alvaro Morata moments later and Balotelli returning to the bench soon afterwards at the behest of a club official.

He was brought on with eight minutes to go but could not prevent the Bianconeri from winning the domestic double, and the Rossoneri claimed afterwards that their player had not abandoned the team.

"Balotelli returned to the dressing room only and exclusively to fulfill a physiological requirement," the statement read.