Mario Balotelli instant hit as Nice down Marseille in Ligue 1

Former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli struck twice on his Nice debut to help his new side defeat Mediterranean rivals Marseille 3-2 in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Paris: Former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli struck twice on his Nice debut to help his new side defeat Mediterranean rivals Marseille 3-2 in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Balotelli, signed on a free transfer after being allowed to leave Anfield, converted a seventh-minute penalty to open the scoring at the Allianz Riviera and struck again to level 12 minutes from time. 

Florian Thauvin had equalised for Marseille and Bafetimbi Gomis` 72nd-minute spot-kick then put the visitors ahead, but Balotelli`s second of the game set up a thrilling finale with Wylan Cyprien`s long-range shot bursting through the hands of Yohann Pele.

Mevlut Erding netted a hat-trick as promoted Metz strolled to a 3-0 victory at Nantes, Philippe Hinschberger`s men climbing into the top three after a third win in four matches this term.

Paul Georges-Ntep provided an assist on his long-awaited return from injury as Rennes beat Caen 2-0 in Brittany, Wesley Said and Sanjin Prcic with the goals for the home side.

On Saturday, Monaco claimed top spot as Djibril Sidibe, Adama Traore, Fabinho and Kamil Glik all scored in a crushing 4-1 victory away to Lille.

However, Lyon endured another miserable afternoon as Alexandre Lacazette again hobbled off with Bordeaux dealing Bruno Genesio`s side a 3-1 defeat, their first at home since moving into Parc OL in January.

France striker Lacazette, the French league`s leading scorer this season with six goals, will miss Lyon`s opening group stage match at home to Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.

Paris Saint-Germain conceded an injury-time equaliser on Friday as they warmed up for their European clash next week against Arsenal with a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Saint-Etienne.

Unai Emery`s men looked set for all three points thanks to a second-half Lucas penalty, but Robert Beric popped up in the second minute of added-on time to eke out an unlikely point for the visitors.

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