It had to be him – Balotelli scores against Vieira's Nice

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AFP
The well-travelled forward was on target against his former club to continue his run of fine form since moving to Stade Velodrome

Mario Balotelli reminded Nice and former boss Patrick Vieira what they are missing out on as he scored against his old club for Marseille on Sunday.

The Italian netted 33 Ligue 1 goals in his first two seasons at Nice before falling out with Vieira amid fitness issues and his failure to score in 10 league appearances at the start of this term.

He made a January switch to Marseille and took the opportunity to get one over on his former employers in the top-flight clash at the Stade Velodrome. 

While Vieira was left somewhat stony-faced on the touchline, Balotelli's celebrations were at least a degree less exuberant than after his scissor-kick opening goal in last weekend's 2-0 home win over Saint-Etienne, when he broadcast himself live on Instagram.

This time the former Manchester City forward sat down near the corner flag and played rock, paper, scissors with Florian Thauvin. 

Balotelli's goal, his fifth in seven outings for Marseille, proved the winner as Rudi Garcia's men prevailed 1-0 as they cut the gap to third-placed Lyon to three points.

The striker is under contract until the end of the season at Marseille, but signalled his willingness to stay past 2018-19 prior to Sunday's clash. 

"The fact of the matter is that my contract expires at the end of this season and after that, we'll discuss it," he told La Provence.

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"I've told my agent that I am happy here and want to stay. My first two seasons at Nice were good, but Marseille is on another level, another type of football and atmosphere.

"As far as I am concerned, Marseille are the biggest club in France. I thank Nice and its supporters, but there's no comparison with Marseille.

"I've always felt that I would fit in here and I can't explain why. The atmosphere is a bit like Naples. I've said the only Italian club I could play for would be Napoli. It's more or less the same thing at Marseille."

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