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Balotelli scores Nice winner

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli scored the winner and was sent off for two yellow cards inside six minutes

Mario Balotelli scored a late winner and was sent off as Nice beat Lorient to return to the top of Ligue 1.

The Italian produced a sublime curling strike in the 86th minute to restore his side’s lead and was booked for removing his shirt in celebration.

In added time, he was dismissed after being shown another yellow card for a clash with Lorient’s Steven Moreira.

Despite Balotelli’s red card, Nice easily held on to extend their unbeaten start to the season to eight games.

Ricardo Pereira had given the hosts the lead in the 11th minute before Benjamin Moukandjo equalised for Lorient shortly after the hour mark.

Nice’s victory means they moved above Monaco, who had gone top on Saturday by thrashing Metz 7-0.

Live Text

Match ends, Nice 2, Lorient 1.

Second Half ends, Nice 2, Lorient 1.

Foul by Younès Belhanda (Nice).

Michael Ciani (Lorient) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Nice. Conceded by Steven Moreira.

Second yellow card to Mario Balotelli (Nice).

Steven Moreira (Lorient) is shown the yellow card.

Valentin Eysseric (Nice) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Walid Mesloub (Lorient).

Offside, Nice. Paul Baysse tries a through ball, but Mario Balotelli is caught offside.

Mario Balotelli (Nice) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Issam Ben Khemis (Lorient).

Valentin Eysseric (Nice) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Valentin Eysseric (Nice).

Issam Ben Khemis (Lorient) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Mario Balotelli (Nice) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal! Nice 2, Lorient 1. Mario Balotelli (Nice) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Wylan Cyprien.

Cafú (Lorient) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Valentin Eysseric (Nice) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cafú (Lorient).

Substitution, Lorient. Issam Ben Khemis replaces Arnold Mvuemba.

Attempt missed. Mario Balotelli (Nice) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right from a direct free kick.

Ricardo Pereira (Nice) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mohamed Mara (Lorient).

Dante (Nice) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Majeed Waris (Lorient).

Attempt missed. Valentin Eysseric (Nice) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira with a cross.

Valentin Eysseric (Nice) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Ciani (Lorient).

Corner, Lorient. Conceded by Dante.

Attempt blocked. Jimmy Cabot (Lorient) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by Cafú.

Offside, Nice. Alassane Pléa tries a through ball, but Mario Balotelli is caught offside.

Substitution, Nice. Alassane Pléa replaces Mathieu Bodmer.

Attempt missed. Zargo Toure (Lorient) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Cafú.

Offside, Nice. Valentin Eysseric tries a through ball, but Mario Balotelli is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Walid Mesloub (Lorient) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jimmy Cabot.

Attempt blocked. Majeed Waris (Lorient) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Michael Ciani.

Corner, Lorient. Conceded by Jean Michael Seri.

Substitution, Lorient. Majeed Waris replaces Benjamin Moukandjo.

Foul by Mathieu Bodmer (Nice).

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37467841