Falcao cancels out Balotelli in draw between Monaco and Nice
Monaco 2 - 2 Nice

Falcao cancels out Balotelli in draw between Monaco and Nice

16/01/2018

Radamel Falcao scored a stoppage-time equaliser as Monaco rescued a 2-2 draw in the Cote d'Azur derby against Nice at Stade Louis II.

Mario Balotelli had earlier scored twice as Nice came from behind.

The Aiglons, though, were denied victory just moments from the end as the Colombian struck from close range following a quick free kick.

The hosts had gone into Tuesday night's match looking to close the gap on Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain -- and also stay ahead of the chasing pack.

Monaco took the lead after 33 minutes through a controversial effort from Adama Diakhaby, the striker having knocked the ball down with his hand before slotting in from close range.

Nice, looking to cement their place in the top six, were level soon after the restart when Balotelli knocked in his 11th league goal.

The much-travelled former AC Milan frontman then turned the match around after 68 minutes when his shot deflected in off defender Andrea Raggi before Falcao had the final say.

Monaco saw their four-match winning run brought to a halt by a goalless draw at Montpellier, but had last week knocked Nice out of the Coupe de la Ligue.

It was the visitors, though, who started brightly as Balotelli and Dante had both had early openings before Wylan Cyprien's low shot was saved.

Monaco, though, went ahead after 33 minutes in controversial fashion. A deep ball in from the right dropped on the penalty spot, where Diakhaby appeared to knock it down onto the back of teammate Balde Keita.

The ball then landed right into the striker's path -- and he lashed it into the net, before wheeling away with an anxious glance towards the officials.

Nice were understandably incensed -- with both Alassane Plea and Cyprien cautioned for their protests.

The visitors, however, levelled a minute into the second half.

Allan Saint-Maximin did well on the right and played the ball across the six-yard box, where Balotelli nipped ahead of Poland defender Kamil Glik to slot past Danijel Subasic.

Nice almost went ahead just after the hour when Cyprien broke quickly down the left, only for Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe to make a last-ditch sliding tackle as the winger looked set to score.

It was, though, 2-1 after 68 minutes. Balotelli found himself in space on the left side of the penalty area and cut inside before his low shot deflected up off Andrea Raggi to wrong foot the Monaco goalkeeper.

Stevan Jovetic saw a late effort beaten away by Walter Benitez, but Monaco then snatched a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time.

Jorge was adjudged to have been tripped just outside the Nice penalty area on the left by Marlon. The Brazilian quickly scrambled to his feet to play in Jovetic.

The striker's shot was saved by Benitez, but Falcao was on hand to knock the loose ball into an empty net and secure a point.

Despite fighting back to earn a draw, Monaco drop down to third after Marseille's win over Strasbourg earlier on Tuesday night.

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