Balotelli scores third brace of the year as Nice continues to lead Ligue 1

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Nice has been the class of Ligue 1 so far this season, and Mario Balotelli has a lot to do with that.

The Italian has struggled to stay on the pitch due to a host of injury problems, but when he plays a part, he’s been ruthless.

Balotelli scored two more today as Nice took down 18th-placed Dijon 2-1. He grabbed his first from the spot after Alassane Pléa was fouled by Yunis Abdelhamid in the area. His second was a true poacher’s goal, as Arnaud Souquet fed him from the right and Balotelli expertly struck home from point-blank range. It did appear he was a fair bit offside on the second, but the flag stayed down.

The double gives Balotelli eight Ligue 1 goals in eight matches, and represents his third double of the year. He has 10 goals in 13 appearances across all competitions. Nice has lost just once all year in league play, and they lead the Ligue 1 table by four points over Monaco, and are seven above last year’s champions PSG.

However, Balotelli has not appeared in more than two straight games this season, and he will have a chance to do that when Nice travels to Bordeaux on Monday in their final fixture before the holiday break.