VIDEO: Nice 3 – 2 Marseille [Ligue 1] Highlights 2016/17
For such a colourful character, it is not often that Mario Balotelli is seen smiling on the football field. When he tucked away a seventh-minute penalty on his Nice debut on Sunday to give them the early edge over Marseille, there was just a hint of pleasure in his face.
To say he was much criticised at Liverpool would be something of an understatement and in an interview with Canal+ he branded the decision to move to Anfield “the worst decision” of his life.
Already a bold call to take a step backwards in his career to switch to Europa League hopefuls Nice appears a much shrewder one, with the Italian quickly finding his way into the hearts of the home supporters by grabbing an equaliser as he deftly headed home a delicious Ricardo Pereira cross in a turbo-charged encounter.
Wylan Cyprien rather ruined the narrative of the evening by plundering the winner for the hosts with a fierce shot from range that should have been stopped by Yohann Pele, yet the evening was to prove the Italian’s.
After their early setback Marseille hit back to lead 2-1, with fellow Premier League outcasts Florian Thauvin and Bafetimbi Gomis on target for the visitors, but the Italian had the last laugh.