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30th Oct 2016

Mario Balotelli just can’t stop scoring

Nice extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1...

Kevin Beirne

Things are going pretty well for Mario Balotelli in France at the moment.

After breaking onto the international scene at a young age, the Italian striker’s progress had stalled following a series of off-the-field issues. He had been bouncing around some of Europe’s biggest clubs before finally being shipped off to Nice this summer on a free transfer.

Liverpool fans were more than happy to see the back of him after a troubled time on Merseyside, and the general consensus among the Anfield faithful was that even a free transfer was overpaying for the former Manchester City forward.

But, much to surprise of his critics, Balotelli has thrived in the south of France, and is currently on course to fire his new side to an unlikely Ligue 1 title.

He has scored six goals in just five league appearances this season, with the most of recent of these coming during Nice’s 4-1 defeat of Nantes on Sunday.

A long ball from Ivorian team-mate Jean Seri helped Balotelli to beat the offside trap, before the Italian slotted it past the keeper with a quick jab from the outside of his boot.

The win means that Nice – who came fourth last season – are now six points clear at the top of the table, after second-place Monaco could only manage a draw against Saint-Étienne on Saturday, while Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 win over Lille puts them third on goal difference.

Nice finished 33 points behind league champions PSG last season, and are looking to become the first team since Montpellier in the 2011/12 season to break the Parisians’ dominance over Ligue 1.

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