Mario Balotelli scores penalty as Nice beat Bordeaux
Nice 2 - 1 Bordeaux

Mario Balotelli scores penalty as Nice beat Bordeaux

Mario Balotelli struck from the penalty spot as Nice came from behind to beat Bordeaux 2-1 and maintain the pressure on the Ligue 1 pace-setters.

Balotelli's spot-kick cancelled out Gaeten Laborde's early opener at the Allianz Riviera, but it was Valentin Eysseric who won it with his 27th-minute effort to cement the home side in third place in the table.

Nice, who are unbeaten in eight games, are now just a single point worse off than second-placed Paris St Germain and four adrift of leaders Monaco.

Bordeaux, whose only defeats in their 12 previous league outings had come against the top two, gave as good as they got for long periods, but were unable to find a way back into the game and remain in sixth place, five points adrift of the top four.

In a lively start to the game, Nice full-back Arnaud Souquet hit the post with a sixth-minute effort, but it was the visitors who took the lead three minutes later when striker Laborde smashed a left-footed shot into the top corner.

However, the visitors' advantage was cancelled out with just 16 minutes on the clock when, after Jeremy Toulalan had fouled Souquet inside the area, Balotelli stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.

Balotelli turned provider 11 minutes later when he set up midfielder Eysseric to fire Nice ahead for the first time with a long-range effort.

Bordeaux midfielder Younousse Sankhare headed wide eight minutes before the break and Balotelli saw a long-range effort saved, and Nice went in at half-time still ahead.

Sankhare passed up a chance to level on the hour when he shot wide from Francois Kamano's ball, and the pair switched roles three minutes later as Kamano forced a save from keeper Yoann Cardinale.

Indeed, it was Bordeaux who finished the stronger with substitutes Diego Rolan and Adam Ounas both going close as time ran down, although Eysseric might have extended his side's lead at the death.

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