Sampdoria striker Antonio Cassano pleaded his innocence after his amazing blow-up during yesterday's 2-0 defeat at Catania.

Making his first start of the season, he lasted just 39 minutes before limping off with a new thigh injury. He did not wait for the bench to complete the substitution, instead walking straight off the pitch.

Teammate Vincenzo Montella tried to stop him, but Cassano shook off his hand and clearly swore at the former Roma man, demanding to be left alone and asking him "are you crazy?"

Afterwards, Cassano insisted: "I was disappointed and angry, my world was collapsing. There is no case to answer for.

"I do not understand all this clamor for my decision to go directly to the tunnel and the locker rooms. At that moment, I felt really down after another injury."