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Ligue 1 Review: Balotelli at the double as Payet shines and Malcom toils

17 January 2018 01:15

Mario Balotelli starred with a brace before Radamel Falcao provided the late drama in Monaco's 2-2 derby draw with Nice in Ligue 1.

The reigning champions drew first blood amid amid suspicions of handball, with Adama Diakhaby making no mistake as Thomas Lemar's cross ricocheted kindly for him off Keita Balde.

Balotelli expertly poached an equaliser two minutes after half-time and he outfoxed Italian compatriot Andrea Raggi to score his 12th top-flight goal of the season with the aid of deflection.

But Falcao was alert to the possibilities after a quickly taken free-kick in stoppage time, earning a share of the spoils, although Marseille replaced Leonardo Jardim's men his second as Dimitri Payet stole the show in a 2-0 win over Strasbourg.

Falcao's former Monaco strike partner Valere Germain had a penalty saved for the hosts at the Stade Velodrome  but Clinton N'Jie smashed home 11 minutes from time.

Payet then made sure of the points an audacious dummy to round Alexandre Oukidja – the Strasbourg goalkeeper contorting himself to such an extent in response that he suffered a serious-looking knee injury and left the field on a stretcher.

Reported Arsenal target Malcom endured a fruitless night for Bordeaux, who went down 2-0 to late Ivan Santini and Ronny Rodelin goals for Caen after having Paul Baysse sent off.

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