Mario Balotelli

AFP

Nice cede ground in title race, Marseille up to fifth

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli helped Nice salvage a 2-2 draw against modest Caen on Friday in a result that could prove costly to the south coast side’s Ligue 1 title dream.

Balotelli’s strike deep in the second half followed minutes later by Anastasios Donis’ leveller pushed Nice into provisional second.

Nice cede ground in title race, Marseille up to fifth

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli helped Nice salvage a 2-2 draw against modest Caen on Friday in a result that could prove costly to the south coast side’s Ligue 1 title dream.

Balotelli’s strike deep in the second half followed minutes later by Anastasios Donis’ leveller pushed Nice into provisional second.

Bastia punished over Balotelli abuse

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Paris (AFP) – French Ligue 1 side Bastia were punished Thursday over racist abuse directed at Nice striker Mario Balotelli in a game last month.

The French league’s disciplinary commission docked Bastia one point – suspended – and ordered the club to close its East Stand for the next three home games over the monkey chants by some of its fans.

Talented Balotelli needs attitude change – Italy coach

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Milan (AFP) – Controversial striker Mario Balotelli has shown few signs of wanting to fight his way back into the national side, Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura warned on Wednesday.

Balotelli last played for Italy at their ill-fated 2014 World Cup campaign, but his international and club career have been in a tailspin since then.

Talented Balotelli needs attitude change – Italy coach

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Milan (AFP) – Controversial striker Mario Balotelli has shown few signs of wanting to fight his way back into the national side, Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura warned on Wednesday.

Balotelli last played for Italy at their ill-fated 2014 World Cup campaign, but his international and club career have been in a tailspin since then.

Nice lose ground, Marseille beaten in League 1

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Paris (AFP) – Nice’s fading Ligue 1 title aspirations suffered a costly setback as they fell five points behind leaders Monaco despite rallying from two goals down in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Rennes.

First-half strikes from Morgan Amalfitano and Giovanni Sio left Rennes on course for a first win in nine matches, but Valentin Eysseric set up Anastasios Dosis to pull one back on the hour mark.

Nice lose ground after Rennes draw

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Paris (AFP) – Nice’s fading Ligue 1 title aspirations suffered a costly setback as they fell five points behind leaders Monaco despite rallying from two goals down in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Rennes.

First-half strikes from Morgan Amalfitano and Giovanni Sio left Rennes on course for a first win in nine matches, but Valentin Eysseric set up Anastasios Dosis to pull one back on the hour mark.

Nice lose ground after Rennes draw

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Paris (AFP) – Nice’s fading Ligue 1 title aspirations suffered a costly setback as they fell five points behind leaders Monaco despite rallying from two goals down in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Rennes.

First-half strikes from Morgan Amalfitano and Giovanni Sio left Rennes on course for a first win in nine matches, but Valentin Eysseric set up Anastasios Dosis to pull one back on the hour mark.

Nice return top after Guingamp win

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Paris (AFP) Mario Balotelli secured a first win in four games for Nice as they provisionally returned to the top of Ligue 1 with a 3-1 victory at home to Guingamp on Sunday.

Alassane Plea struck after 11 minutes to give Nice the lead at the Allianz Riviera and Jean-Michael Seri, back from Africa Cup of Nations duty with the Ivory Coast, added a second before half-time.

Bastia fan admits Balotelli racial abuse – club

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Bastia (France) (AFP) "Several" Bastia fans racially abused Nice forward Mario Balotelli with monkey chants while one admitted it and faces a France-wide stadium ban, the Corsican club said on Wednesday.

The Italian said he suffered racist abuse throughout Friday's 1-1 Ligue 1 draw at Bastia, where the coach of title-chasers Nice was also pelted with stones.

Bastia admits fans racially abused Balotelli

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Bastia (France) (AFP) "Several" Bastia fans racially abused Nice forward Mario Balotelli with monkey chants while one admitted it and faces a France-wide stadium ban, the Corsican club said on Wednesday.

The Italian said he suffered racist abuse throughout Friday's 1-1 Ligue 1 draw at Bastia, where the coach of title-chasers Nice was also pelted with stones.

Bastia admits fans racially abused Balotelli

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Bastia (France) (AFP) "Several" Bastia fans racially abused Nice forward Mario Balotelli with monkey chants while one admitted it and faces a France-wide stadium ban, the Corsican club said on Wednesday.

The Italian said he suffered racist abuse throughout Friday's 1-1 Ligue 1 draw at Bastia, where the coach of title-chasers Nice was also pelted with stones.

Cavani hits double for impressive PSG

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Paris (AFP) Edinson Cavani struck his 19th and 20th goals of the Ligue 1 season as French champions Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0 at in-form Nantes on Saturday.

The impressive away win leaves PSG still in third, but they are now just a point behind leaders Nice and level with Monaco, who have a game in hand on Sunday at home to Lorient.

Title hopefuls Nice held at Bastia

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Bastia (France) (AFP) French title hopefuls Nice edged provisionally a point clear of Monaco but were Friday lamenting the loss of two points in a 1-1 draw at lowly Bastia.

The match was marred by an ugly incident beforehand when police reported some Bastia fans stoned the Nice team bus, breaking two windows, as it arrived at the Armand Cesari stadium.

Leaders Nice edged by disputed Caen penalty

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Paris (AFP) Table-toppers Nice suffered their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season on Sunday when they went down 1-0 after a hotly disputed penalty at Caen.

The southern side still top Ligue 1 with 29 points ahead of Monaco on 26 points while champions Paris Saint Germain are third on 23 ahead of their Sunday night game at home to Rennes.

Leaders Nice edged by disputed Caen penalty

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Paris (AFP) Table-toppers Nice suffered their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season on Sunday when they went down 1-0 after a hotly disputed penalty at Caen.

The southern side still top Ligue 1 with 29 points ahead of Monaco on 26 points while champions Paris Saint Germain are third on 23 ahead of their Sunday night game at home to Rennes.

Marseille hold PSG in drab ‘Classique’

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Paris (AFP) There was nothing "Classique" about it as Paris Saint-Germain and bitter rivals Marseille conjured up an uninspiring 0-0 draw in relentless rain in the French capital on Sunday.

Billed as the Ligue 1 clash to rival Spain's El Clasico, this was a poor advert for French football and did little to dispel the impression that reigning champions PSG are struggling to get to grips with coach Unai Emery's methods.

Mario who? Nice shrug off Balotelli injury

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Paris (AFP) Alassane Plea grabbed a hat-trick as surprise Ligue 1 leaders Nice continued their terrific start to the season with a thrilling 4-2 victory at promoted Metz on Sunday.

With Mario Balotelli out injured, Plea assumed the lead role for Lucien Favre's unbeaten side and netted the opener on 12 minutes before adding a second from the penalty spot after Georges Mandjeck had equalised.

Plea heroics keep leaders Nice rolling

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Paris (AFP) Alassane Plea grabbed a hat-trick as surprise Ligue 1 leaders Nice continued their terrific start to the season with a thrilling 4-2 victory at promoted Metz on Sunday.

With Mario Balotelli out injured, Plea assumed the lead role for Lucien Favre's unbeaten side and netted the opener on 12 minutes before adding a second from the penalty spot after Georges Mandjeck had equalised.

Plea heroics keep leaders Nice rolling

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Paris (AFP) Alassane Plea grabbed a hat-trick as surprise Ligue 1 leaders Nice continued their terrific start to the season with a thrilling 4-2 victory at promoted Metz on Sunday.

With Mario Balotelli out injured, Plea assumed the lead role for Lucien Favre's unbeaten side and netted the opener on 12 minutes before adding a second from the penalty spot after Georges Mandjeck had equalised.

Nice down Lyon to pull clear of Monaco

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Paris (AFP) High-flyers Nice stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Lyon on Friday after second-place Monaco crashed to defeat at Toulouse.

Nice captain Paul Baysse volleyed in a fifth-minute strike at the Allianz Riviera while Jean-Michael Seri swept in a second on 76 minutes to send Lucien Favre's men four points clear at the summit.

Nice down Lyon to pull clear of Monaco

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Paris (AFP) High-flyers Nice stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Lyon on Friday after second-place Monaco crashed to defeat at Toulouse.

Nice captain Paul Baysse volleyed in a fifth-minute strike at the Allianz Riviera while Jean-Michael Seri swept in a second on 76 minutes to send Lucien Favre's men four points clear at the summit.

Favre keeps Nice grounded despite flying start

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Paris (AFP) Nice coach Lucien Favre urged the surprise Ligue 1 leaders to look no further than Friday's clash against traditional French giants Lyon as they bid to extend their unbeaten start.

Nice lead Cote d'Azur rivals Monaco by a point at the top after eight matches, and Favre is counting on his players to resume where they left off prior to the international break.

Favre keeps Nice grounded despite flying start

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Paris (AFP) Nice coach Lucien Favre urged the surprise Ligue 1 leaders to look no further than Friday's clash against traditional French giants Lyon as they bid to extend their unbeaten start.

Nice lead Cote d'Azur rivals Monaco by a point at the top after eight matches, and Favre is counting on his players to resume where they left off prior to the international break.

Mario Balotelli targets Italy recall

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Milan (AFP) Mario Balotelli said he plans an explosive return to the Italy national team in an interview in which he also hit out at former clubs Liverpool and AC Milan.

Balotelli has not played for Italy since defeat to Uruguay in the final group match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil sent the Azzurri crashing out of the tournament at the first hurdle.

Totti sets up Roma rout, Ibrahimovic delivers for United

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Paris (AFP) Francesco Totti at 40 continues to shine for Roma, Manchester United needed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's height to see off stubborn Zorya Luhansk while Mario Balotelli got on the score sheet for Nice again in Europa League action.

AFP Sports picks out the best of the games from matchday two on Thursday:

Three assists for Totti

Two days after his 40th birthday, captain Francesco Totti set up three of Roma's goals as they romped past Romanian outfit Astra 4-0.

Totti sets up Roma rout, Ibrahimovic delivers for United

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Paris (AFP) Francesco Totti at 40 continues to shine for Roma, Manchester United needed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's height to see off stubborn Zorya Luhansk while Mario Balotelli got on the score sheet for Nice again in Europa League action.

AFP Sports picks out the best of the games from matchday two on Thursday:

Three assists for Totti

Two days after his 40th birthday, captain Francesco Totti set up three of Roma's goals as they romped past Romanian outfit Astra 4-0.

Schalke breathe easy, Inter slump at Sparta

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Paris (AFP) Inter Milan were stunned at Sparta Prague, Schalke 04 put their Bundesliga woes to one side when cruising past Salzburg while Mario Balotelli got on the score sheet for Nice again in Europa League action.

AFP Sports picks out the best of the early games from matchday two on Thursday:

Schalke reborn in Europe

While Schalke 04 have suffered five consecutive Bundesliga losses under new coach Markus Weinzierl, the Blues skipped to a 3-1 win over Austrians Salzburg.

Nice second after Montpellier point

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Montpellier (France) (AFP) Newly-recruited playmaker Younes Belhanda grabbed a point for Nice in a 1-1 draw at Montpellier with a determined late strike on Sunday meaning his side climb above champions Paris Saint Germain into second place in Ligue 1.

Having come fourth last season, Nice lost their coach Claude Puel to Southampton while Hatem Ben Arfa moved on to PSG.

Nice second after Montpellier point

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Montpellier (France) (AFP) Newly-recruited playmaker Younes Belhanda grabbed a point for Nice in a 1-1 draw at Montpellier with a determined late strike on Sunday meaning his side climb above champions Paris Saint Germain into second place in Ligue 1.

Having come fourth last season, Nice lost their coach Claude Puel to Southampton while Hatem Ben Arfa moved on to PSG.

Verratti tells Balotelli to get serious

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti has challenged troubled Ligue 1 new boy Mario Balotelli to concentrate on his football all week long and not just on matchdays.

The former AC Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool striker scored twice on his debut for French outfit Nice on Sunday, where he is trying to resurrect his floundering career.

Nice

Monaco plot Nice revenge in French summit clash

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Paris (AFP) Free-scoring Monaco led by Radamel Falcao and Mario Balotelli's slick Nice side clash at the top of French Ligue 1 this weekend.

Early pacesetters Nice have faltered of late allowing Monaco to move top of the table on goal difference on 49 points, with champions Paris Saint-Germain lurking in third on 46 ahead of their trip to Dijon later Saturday.

Monaco plot Nice revenge in French summit clash

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Paris (AFP) Free-scoring Monaco led by Radamel Falcao and Mario Balotelli's slick Nice side clash at the top of French Ligue 1 this weekend.

Early pacesetters Nice have faltered of late allowing Monaco to move top of the table on goal difference on 49 points, with champions Paris Saint-Germain lurking in third on 46 ahead of their trip to Dijon later Saturday.

OGC Nice: Mario Balotelli Subbed Off At Half-Time During Krasnodar Defeat Because He Had Sore Throat

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OGC Nice coach Lucien Favre revealed that he substituted Mario Balotelli at half-time of his side's Europa League defeat against Krasnodar was suffering from a sore throat.

Balotelli scored with a smart finish just a few minutes before the break but was replaced by Alassane Plea at the break after failing to shake off his game-ending bout of sniffles.

Liverpool striker Ballotelli to have medical at Nice: report

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Nice (France) (AFP) Liverpool's outcast Italian striker Mario Balotelli was to have a medical at French side Nice on Wednesday amid transfer deadline day talks between the clubs, l'Equipe newspaper reported.

The 26-year-old could be sold or loaned to Nice, the report said. Once one of the biggest hopes in Europe, Balotelli has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup and has been told he is not wanted by Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp.

Ligue 1

Ligue 1: Nice Striker Mario Balotelli Sees Red Against Bordeaux, Gives Shirt To Fan On Leaving Pitch (Video)

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Linked with a move back to the Premier League this week, Mario Balotelli was once again grabbing the headlines during Nice's goalless draw with Bordeaux on Wednesday evening.

The former Liverpool man picked up his second red card of the season after kicking out at an opponent late in the game.

Ligue 1: Mario Balotelli Scores Superb Late Winner For Nice, Gets Sent Off Six Minutes Later (Video)

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He may have long since left the Premier League, but Mario Balotelli shall remain forever in our hearts. The ex-Liverpool flop was once again amongst the goals for Nice on Sunday, nettinga late winner against Lorient before, in classic Balotelli fashion, seeing red just six minutes later.

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Balotelli's goal, his sixth in five games for Nice, came on 86 minutes, with the Italian producing a sublime curling finish.

Ex-Liverpool Flop Mario Balotelli Nets Second Brace In Two Games To Send Nice Top Of Ligue 1 (Video)

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Coming hot on the heels of a fine brace against Marseille in his first game for Nice, Mario Balotelli made it four goals in two Ligue 1 games on Wednesday night, with the striker netting another double against Monaco.

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Ex-Liverpool flop Balotelli's first of the night was a throroughly classy affair, with the Italian superblytaking a pass in his stride before firing pastDanijel Subasic in the Monaco goal.

Liverpool: OCG Nice Stick Up For Mario Balotelli In Silly Twitter Quarrel With Jamie Carragher

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OGC Nice have come riding in like the social media cavalry into the midst of the ongoing Twitter mithering between Mario Balotelli and Jamie Carragher.

The tit-for-tat began when Carragher quipped that Nice had "overpaid" for Balotelli when they signed him on a free transfer from Liverpool on deadline day.

The Rest

This Again: El Hadji Diouf Claims ‘Jealous’ Steven Gerrard Sabotaged Mario Balotelli’s Progress At Liverpool

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While you may be sat there thinking that Mario Balotelli's failure to bed in at Liverpool was solely due to a heady mix of under-performance and miscommunication, it should be noted that El Hadji Diouf, in his infinite wisdom, has proffered forth an alternative theorem on the matter.

Unsurprisingly, Diouf has pinned the blame squarely on Steven Gerrard, whose"jealousy" saw him stymie Balotelli's progress at Anfield in the interests of remaining top dog himself.