Garcia plays down Maicon-Benatia spat

Roma coach Rudi Garcia has watered down a spat between Maicon and Mehdi Benatia, in their 2-0 Serie A win at Chievo.

The Brazilian right-back and the Moroccan central defender were heard arguing in the shadows of half-time in Verona, just after the visitors had taken a 2-0 lead.

Maicon was then substituted at the interval but Garcia claims the change was due to an injury, and not the verbal stoush.

"I substituted Maicon for (Vassilis) Torosidis because the Brazilian took a knock to the knee," Garcia said.

The coach added: "Maicon and Benatia? You get arguments in the heat of a match.

"A team that doesn't talk is a dead team. I'm happy to have strong characters in the team, it's positive for our play."

Another Brazilian, Rodrigo Taddei, was in the thick of the action on Saturday, teeing up Mattia Destro with a defence-splitting pass for Roma's second goal and Garcia praised the 34-year-old's durability.

"He's a consummate professional, who has always worked really hard," he said.

"He has great technique, a fine pass on him and excellent control.

"He's smart defensively and knows what positions to take up.

"Given that he has all these qualities I thought I could field him in the playmaker role.

"At the start of the season we spoke about the future and I wasn't wrong about him.

"He's an example to everyone. Every coach would be delighted to have someone like him on the roster."