Balotelli on target as Nice return to top of Ligue 1 table

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Mario Balotelli's ninth league goal of the season helped Nice beat Guingamp 3-1 at the Allianz Riviera as they returned to the summit of the Ligue 1 table.

Lucien Favre's men had dropped to second place following four draws in their past five games, but they went one point clear of Monaco again ahead of Sunday evening's encounter between the Stade Louis II side and Paris Saint-Germain.

Alassane Plea ensured his side got off to a fine start when he opened the scoring in the 11th minute after being set up by Valentin Eysseric.

Nice continued to dominate proceedings in the first half and Jean-Michel Seri doubled his side's lead seven minutes before the break with a right-footed shot from inside the area.

Jimmy Briand pulled one back for Guingamp at the hour-mark following some good work from Nill de Pauw, but there would not be a comeback as Balotelli restored his side's two-goal lead in the closing stages of the game.