Balotelli hits post as leader Nice loses 1-0 away to Caen

Malta Independent - - SPORTS -

Mario Balotelli's luck ran out as French leader Nice lost 1-0 away to Caen yes­ter­day for its first league de­feat of the sea­son.

Croa­t­ian striker Ivan San­tini's penalty put the Nor­mandy side ahead near halftime, and Balotelli hit the post with a first-time shot in the 63rd minute.

Moments ear­lier, he set up strike part­ner Alas­sane Plea, whose curl­ing ef­fort went just over.

"There weren't many chances but some­times two chances is enough, and we had them," Nice coach Lu­cien Favre said. "Caen was very tight at the back, with five de­fend­ers. It was very hard to get past them."

Favre re­fused to blame fa­tigue, de­spite his team play­ing in the Europa League on Thurs­day night. He said it was more a case of im­pa­tience.

"It's noth­ing to do with fa­tigue," he said. "You have to stay pa­tient in games other­wise you for­get cer­tain things, you be­come dis­or­ga­nized and that's not great."

Balotelli, who had six goals in five league games be­fore the match, was booked late on for foul­ing Ronny Rodelin after the striker skill­fully moved past him.

Nice's de­feat leaves it three points clear of sec­ond-placed Monaco and six ahead of de­fend­ing cham­pion Paris Saint-Ger­main.

PSG can move level on points with Monaco by beat­ing Rennes at home later Sunday.

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