Dream Goes On No Balotelli, no problem as Nice back on top

Nice coped without the suspended Mario Balotelli to win 1-0 at Saint-Etienne on Sunday and go clear at the top of Ligue 1 once again

  • Published: , Refreshed:
Nice?s midfielder Valentin Eysseric (R) scores a goal during the French L1 football match against Saint-Etienne November 20, 2016 play

Nice?s midfielder Valentin Eysseric (R) scores a goal during the French L1 football match against Saint-Etienne November 20, 2016

(AFP)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Nice coped without the suspended Mario Balotelli to win 1-0 at Saint-Etienne on Sunday and go clear at the top of Ligue 1 once again.

Valentin Eysseric scored the only goal of the game in the second half at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard as Nice bounced back from a 1-0 defeat at Caen in their last outing before the international break.

It was the perfect response from Lucien Favre's side in a difficult fixture after their closest rivals, Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, won earlier over the weekend to crank up the pressure on the surprise leaders.

"Overall we deserved the win," said Favre, although he also accepted that his team did not scale the heights that have seen them take French football by storm this season.

"We suffered. We lost the ball in dangerous areas and Saint-Etienne could have scored, so it could have been costly.

"We could have gone 2-0 up but let's not forget that at 0-0, (Nolan) Roux missed a great chance with a header. It would have been very difficult for us to come from behind against such a well-organised team."

Nice's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match against Saint-Etienne November 20, 2016 play

Nice's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match against Saint-Etienne November 20, 2016

(AFP)

Balotelli has scored six goals in six league appearances since moving to France but served a one-game ban here, so there was more of an onus on seven-goal leading marksman Alassane Plea.

He had little impact in a game of few chances but Nice almost went in front when Ricardo Pereira cut the ball back from the right for Jean Michael Seri, whose shot was turned over by Stephane Ruffier in the Saint-Etienne goal.

The hosts responded just after the half-hour mark and the unmarked Roux met a cross by Henri Saivet with his head six yards from goal, only for Yoan Cardinale to save.

Eysseric, who spent last season on loan at Saint-Etienne, then got the breakthrough just after the hour mark.

He got the break of the ball off Loic Perrin on the edge of the box and sent a rising half-volley into the net to silence the home fans.

Nice?s defender Ricardo Pereira (R) vies with Saint-Etienne's Ole Kristian Selnaes (L) during the French L1 football match November 20, 2016 play

Nice?s defender Ricardo Pereira (R) vies with Saint-Etienne's Ole Kristian Selnaes (L) during the French L1 football match November 20, 2016

(AFP)

Nice then held on to move three points clear once again having seen Monaco win 3-0 at Lorient on Friday before defending champions PSG laboured to a 2-0 victory over Nantes on Saturday.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Marseille claimed their first league win under new coach Rudi Garcia at the fourth attempt as a late header from centre-back Rolando secured a 1-0 victory against Caen at the Stade Velodrome.

Marseille remain in the bottom half but are just five points behind fifth-placed Guingamp, who drew 1-1 at home to Bordeaux earlier in the day.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Gifty Gyan’s wife releases stunning new photobullet
2 Revealed This is how much Bukom Banku pocketed after defeat against Bastiebullet
3 Ghana Premier League Results and results on match day 30bullet
4 Ghana Premier League Hans Kwofie scores four against Aduana Stars...bullet
5 FIFA U-17 World Cup John Yeboah inspires Germany to 4-0 victorybullet
6 Bukom Banku's Girlfriend This is the beautiful lady supporting...bullet
7 The Best Cristiano Ronaldo wins 2017 FIFA Player of the Yearbullet
8 The Best Actor of Ghanaian decent thrill the football...bullet
9 Ghana Premier League Tema Youth join Bolga All Stars in...bullet
10 Black Stars Andre Ayew rocked by sex scandalbullet

Top Videos

1 Video Fans thrown into wild jubilation over Bukom Banku's defeatbullet
2 Video Ghana beat Brazil to win historic U-20 World Cupbullet
3 Video Watch former Kotoko's youngster's hat-trick for Anderlechtbullet
4 Video Watch Andre Ayew's goal and assist against Huddersfield Townbullet
5 Video Watch KP Boateng's goal shortlisted for Puskas Awardbullet
6 Video Kingston beats off competition from Schwarzenegger in...bullet
7 Video All goals as Black Starlets beat India 4-0bullet
8 Video Watch Ghana's 2-0 win over Nigerbullet
9 Video The pregnancy journey of Serena Williamsbullet

Football