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2016/17 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Mario Balotelli (71')
  • Anastasios Donis (77')
  • Ivan Santini (36')
  • Yann Karamoh (50')

Mario Balotelli helps Nice rally to salvage draw against Caen

Mario Balotelli started Nice's comeback against Caen. VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli struck his 10th league goal of the season to lead the fightback as French title contenders Nice drew at home with Caen 2-2 on Friday.

Caen hit the home side on the break when striker Ivan Santini jumped above Dante to firmly head in Vincent Bessat's looping cross from the left for his 12th league goal. Shortly after half-time, forward Yann Karamoh netted his sixth to make it 2-0.

With with 20 minutes left, Balotelli ended a four-game goal drought with a close-range finish from defender Dante's headed pass.

Seven minutes later, substitute Anastasios Donis netted the equaliser when his shot hit the right post and the left before rolling over the line.

Balotelli hit the target early into the game with a stinging half-volley from 25 metres out but was then quiet until his goal. By the end, he was strolling around, prompting Favre to yell at him from the sidelines.

Striker Mickael Le Bihan missed a late chance to win the game when he swiveled and volleyed over.

Le Bihan galvanised Nice when he came off the bench in the 56th minute to replace midfielder Wylan Cyprien, who went off injured.

Nice moved up to second place, one point above defending champions Paris Saint-Germain and two behind leaders Monaco heading into this weekend's games.