Balotelli scores again and sent off as Nice beats Lori­ent

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Mario Balotelli won’t be blamed for being sent off this time.

The Ital­ian striker, as well known for his an­tics off and on the pitch as he is for his beau­ti­ful goals, scored a stun­ning late win­ner for Nice in its 2-1 de­feat of Lori­ent in the French league on Sun­day.

“Su­per Mario” was then sent off for a sec­ond yel­low card in a de­ci­sion that looked harsh.

Nice re­turned to the top of the standings, one point above its Riviera ri­val Monaco.

Balotelli, who re­ceived his first book­ing af­ter tak­ing off his jersey when he cel­e­brated his goal in the 86th minute, was sanc­tioned again in stop­page time af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion with de­fender Steven Mor­eira, who ap­peared to have started the scuf­fle.

Balotelli had drib­bled past Mor­eira be­fore send­ing a pow­er­ful drive from the edge of the box into the top right cor­ner for his sixth goal in five ap­pear­ances for the French lead­ers.

Balotelli has made a strong start to his ca­reer in France since join­ing this sum­mer af­ter dis­ap­point­ing stints with Liver­pool and AC Mi­lan. He has al­ready scored five goals in three league games and added one to his tally mid­week in the Europa League, but was over­looked for a re­call to the Italy squad this week.

Ri­cardo Pereira had put the hosts in front in the 11th minute be­fore Ben­jamin Moukandjo lev­eled with a right-footed shot from Mo­hamed Mara’s pass.


Sub­sti­tute Pier­rick Capelle scored deep in stop­page time to deny Mar­seille a first away win.

Capelle net­ted his maiden goal this sea­son from close range in the last sec­ond of the game af­ter Mar­seille de­fender Do­ria di­verted the ball into his path.

Both teams strug­gled to cre­ate chances and re­lied on long-range shots. Flo­rian Thau­vin had put the visi­tors in front in the 72nd minute with a de­flected shot that lobbed goal­keeper De­nis Pet­ric.

On loan from New­cas­tle, Thau­vin has scored three goals in eight matches this sea­son.

Mar­seille, which lags 11 points be­hind leader Nice, equalled Sochaux’s record of 2,368 matches played in the top flight.


Lyon ended bit­ter ri­val Saint-Eti­enne’s six-game un­beaten run in the league with a 2-0 win in a pul­sat­ing Rhone derby.

Saint-Eti­enne dom­i­nated the early stages but missed three good chances be­fore Lyon’s Sergi Darder broke the dead­lock in the 41st minute.

Saint-Eti­enne’s Kevin Mon­net-Pa­quet hit the post with a curled ef­fort soon af­ter the in­ter­val be­fore Vin­cent Pa­jot forced a bril­liant save from Lyon goal­keeper An­thony Lopes.

Rachid Ghez­zal sealed Lyon’s win in the 89th with a low shot from the edge of the box.

Lyon moved into fifth place, one point above Saint-Eti­enne.

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