Balotelli hits winner then sent off

Mario Balotelli scored a late winner and was sent off as Nice beat Lorient to return to the top of Ligue 1.

The Italian produced a sublime curling strike in the 86th minute to restore his side’s lead and was booked for removing his shirt in celebration.

In added time, he was dismissed after being shown another yellow card for a clash with Lorient’s Steven Moreira.

Despite Balotelli’s red card, Nice easily held on to extend their unbeaten start to the season to eight games.

Ricardo Pereira had given the hosts the lead in the 11th minute before Benjamin Moukandjo equalised for Lorient shortly after the hour mark.

Nice’s victory means they moved above Monaco, who had gone top on Saturday by thrashing Metz 7-0.

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