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