Balotelli keeps Nice alive in Ligue 1 title race

Indo Asian News Service

Paris, April 8 (IANS) Italian striker Mario Balotelli scored twice to keep Nice alive in the race for the Ligue 1 title with a 2-1 win at Lille.

Having played two more games, Nice went past defending champions Paris Saint-Germain into the second position of the French football league, just one point adrift of leaders Monaco.

Lille went up on Ibrahim Amadou's deflected shot in the 14th minute on Friday, before Balotelli nailed his first goal away from home and finished a brace before the interval.

Nice have remained unbeaten in nine games since their 3-0 loss to Monaco early February, and were still in the run for their first league championship crown since 1959.

Amadou found his shot outside the penalty area deflected off Ricardo Pereira into the net.

However, Nice took just three minutes to level the score, when Balotelli had a superb volley on Valentin Eysseric's pass.

The Italian continued his hot momentum of the night with another goal late in the first half, when he followed in to finish after Pereira's shot was blocked by Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.