Sportsmail has learned that the feuding duo came to blows on Wednesday after an increasingly tense training exercise got out of hand, to the astonishment of onlookers.
The angry flare-up is understood to have been triggered by Milivojevic’s irritation at Batshuayi’s attitude during a passing drill, in which Palace’s players were asked by the coaching to test each other’s first-touches by kicking the ball at each other with increasing power.
Michy Batshuayi was involved in a training-ground bust-up with captain Luka Milivojevic
The Crystal Palace captain (right) was understood to have ended up on the floor in the melee
The captain took exception to Batshuayi messing about by striking the ball too fiercely and responded by kicking the ball straight at the Belgian international striker from close range.
Both players exchanged blows and Milivojevic ended up on the floor, where the scuffling continued before the pair were separated by their colleagues.
Milivojevic played for 89 minutes of last night’s goal-less draw at the Emirates Stadium, with Batshuayi an unused substitute, and there appears to have been no damage to the Palace’s team spirit as the visitors performed well and came close to registering a shock victory.
Milivojevic played 89 minutes of Palace’s draw against Arsenal on Thursday evening
The bust up doesn’t appear to have affected the morale inside Roy Hodgson’s squad
The incident will raise further questions about discipline at the club and Milivojevic’s in particular however, after the Serbian midfield player broke the law by attending a New Year’s Eve party with at least seven other people.
Milivojevic apologised last week for breaching the government’s Covid-19 restrictions at a time when London was under tier four restrictions which stated household could not mix.
‘I want to publicly apologise for my actions on New Year’s Eve,’ Milivojevic said last week. ‘As captain of Crystal Palace Football Club, I am fully aware that my responsibilities go beyond football, and that in this instance I have let the fans, the club, my manager and team-mates down.
‘In what is a really difficult and challenging moment for everyone, I am truly grateful that I am able to continue to do the job I love and I do not take this for granted. I am very sorry to anyone who has been made to feel angry, hurt or upset by my actions. I am making a donation to the local NHS service to help them continue their incredible work in our community fighting this virus.’
Crystal Palace declined to comment.
Milivojevic (left) apologised last week for breaching the government’s Covid-19 restrictions