Balotelli sees red again as Nice win

Former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli was red carded for the third time this season for Nice in their match against Lorient on Saturday.

Despite losing Balotelli Nice still managed to win 1-0  to close the gap on Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.

The hot-headed Italian was sent off for dissent in the 68th minute after an altercation with Lorient’s Zargo Toure.

Wylan Cyprien had given Nice the lead in the 15th-minute, and the 10 men held on to claim a first away win since November.

The win saw Nice move up to second place, three points behind Monaco after the league leaders could only draw 1-1 at Bastia on Friday night.

Paris St-Germain can reclaim second place if they avoid defeat at home to Toulouse on Sunday.

Balotelli, who has netted 11 goals for Nice since moving from Anfield in the summer, racked up his third red of the season.

He was also sent off in the reverse fixture against Lorient in October after receiving two yellow cards, while he got a straight red card at Bordeaux in December.

When asked about the red card, Nice coach Lucien Favre said he wasn’t sure what had occurred.

"I didn't see what happened. All of a sudden he was coming off and I said to myself, 'What's happened?'" Favre said. "I didn't see when he gave the red card and I don't know why. It seems that he talked back to the referee."