Striker Balotelli scores twice on Nice debut

Paris, Sep 12 (IANS) Nice’s new signing Mario Balotelli scored twice on his debut as they won 3-2 over Marseille in a Mediterranean football derby in French Ligue 1 at the Allianz Riviera.

With the victory on Sunday, Nice move up to the second place on the Ligue 1 table, behind leaders Monaco on goal difference.

Italian fallen star Balotelli, who moved to the French club on a reported free transfer, found the back of the net from the penalty spot just seven minutes into the game, reports Xinhua.

He added a second in the 78th minute, heading home a cross from Ricardo Pereira from close range.

Florian Thauvin, on loan from Newcastle, equalised for Marseille on 14 minutes before ex-Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis put the visitors in front with a spot-kick in the 73rd minute.

Just three minutes from time, Wylan Cyprien scored a superb long-range winner to help Nice roar back and snatch all three points after Balotelli’s second goal.

In the other Ligue 1 games on Sunday, Metz romped home to a 3-0 win at Nantes to maintain their impressive start to the season, thanks to Mevlut Erding’s hat trick, while Rennes beat Caen 2-0 at home.

–IANS

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