Mario Balotelli lead Nice to rout of Monaco; Caen win third straight game
Mario Balotelli fired a double as Nice stunned reigning Ligue 1 champions Monaco in a 4-0 win at the Allianz Riviera.
Italian striker Balotelli converted an early penalty after he had been fouled by Djibril Sidibe and struck again in the second half after Alassane Plea had doubled Nice’s lead before the interval.
Substitute Ignatius Ganago’s late fourth rounded off a comprehensive victory for Nice, who halted Monaco’s 24-game unbeaten league run in emphatic fashion.
Monaco, who launch their Champions League campaign at RB Leipzig on Wednesday, had opened the domestic season with four successive wins, which had extended their winning league run to 16 matches.
But Leonardo Jardim’s side were no match for Nice, recently dumped out of the Champions League before the group stage by Napoli and beaten 3-0 last week at Amiens.
Also on Saturday, Caen climbed into the top six after a 2-1 home win against Dijon despite playing the last 11 minutes with 10 men.
Ivan Santini’s early penalty, after he had been fouled by Cedric Yambere, was cancelled out by Dijon midfielder Jordan Marie’s low strike seven minutes before the interval.
Yambere’s own goal nine minutes from the end secured Caen a third straight win before left-back Adama Mbengue was shown a straight red card for his 79th-minute foul on Fouad Chafik.
Amiens made it back-to-back wins as they followed up last week’s victory against Nice with their fist away success thanks to Gael Kakuta’s solitary strike in a 1-0 victory at Strasbourg.
Kakuta’s second goal of the season in the 13th-minute clinched it for Amiens, while Strasbourg were reduced to 10 men in the 78th minute when defender Kenny Lala was shown his second yellow card.
Toulouse were held to a goalless draw at Troyes, and Nantes secured their second way win of the season by beating 10-man Montpellier 1-0.
Defender Diego Carlos fired Nantes’ 76th-minute winner when he nestled a free kick in the top corner, before striker Giovanni Sio was shown a straight red card in the closing stages for his challenge on the goal scorer.