French Ligue 1
Nice3Marseille2

Mario Balotelli: Joining Liverpool was worst decision of my life

Mario Balotelli scores his first goal for Nice from the penalty spot
Mario Balotelli scores his first goal for Nice from the penalty spot

Nice striker Mario Balotelli says joining Liverpool was the "worst decision of my life".

The Italian scored four goals in 28 appearances for the Reds after arriving for £16m from AC Milan in 2014.

He managed one goal in 20 Serie A games on loan at Milan last season before a free transfer to Nice this summer.

"Apart from the fans, who were fantastic, and some players who I got on really well with, I didn't like the club," Balotelli told Canal Plus.

The 26-year-old was speaking before scoring twice on his Nice debut in the 3-2 Ligue 1 win over Marseille on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers, who signed Balotelli, was sacked as Liverpool manager in October 2015, with Jurgen Klopp taking over.

"I had two coaches, with Rodgers and Klopp for a short time, but neither their methods nor their personality left me with a good impression," he said.

"I never really felt right there."

'I can still win the Ballon d'Or'

In an interview with former France, Leeds and Roma midfielder Olivier Dacourt, Balotelli was asked if he still thought about winning the Ballon d'Or.

"Of course. It's not too late," he said. "I think I could have already won it by now, but by working hard in training I could still win it in the next two or three years."

In Sunday's home game, Balotelli was goaded by Marseille's Bafetimbi Gomis as he prepared to take a penalty, but kept his cool to score the opener.

Florian Thauvin, on loan from Newcastle, equalised before ex-Swansea striker Gomis put Marseille in front from the spot.

Balotelli headed home before Wylan Cyprien's long-range winner.

Victory lifted Nice into second in the table, behind leaders Monaco on goal difference, with champions Paris St-Germain in seventh.

Line-ups

Nice

  • 30Cardinale
  • 4Baysse
  • 31Dante
  • 33Sarr
  • 21Barbosa PereiraBooked at 86mins
  • 26KozielloBooked at 71mins
  • 25Cyprien
  • 6Seri
  • 29Chagas EstevaoSubstituted forBelhandaat 76'minutes
  • 9Balotelli
  • 14PleaSubstituted forEyssericat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Hassen
  • 2Souquet
  • 5Belhanda
  • 8Lusamba
  • 13Eysseric
  • 18Walter
  • 28Boscagli

Marseille

  • 16Pelé
  • 2Sakai
  • 15Hubocan
  • 3Doria MacedoBooked at 66mins
  • 4RekikSubstituted forKhaouiat 90+2'minutes
  • 29Zambo AnguissaBooked at 31mins
  • 19VainqueurSubstituted forN'Jieat 68'minutes
  • 26Thauvin
  • 22Leya IsekaSubstituted forMachachat 57'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 17Sarr
  • 18Gomis

Substitutes

  • 1Samba
  • 6Rolando
  • 12Bedimo
  • 14N'Jie
  • 20Khaoui
  • 23Machach
  • 27Lopez
Referee:
Frank Schneider
Attendance:
31,194

Match Stats

Home TeamNiceAway TeamMarseille
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home18
Away14
Shots on Target
Home7
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home10
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Nice 3, Marseille 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Nice 3, Marseille 2.

Corner, Nice. Conceded by Hiroki Sakai.

Mario Balotelli (Nice) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Clinton N'Jie (Marseille).

Substitution

Substitution, Marseille. Saif-Eddine Khaoui replaces Karim Rekik.

Foul by Younès Belhanda (Nice).

Karim Rekik (Marseille) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Clinton N'Jie (Marseille) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Nice 3, Marseille 2. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Younès Belhanda.

Booking

Zinedine Machach (Marseille) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Valentin Eysseric (Nice) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Zinedine Machach (Marseille).

Booking

Ricardo Pereira (Nice) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ricardo Pereira (Nice).

Bouna Sarr (Marseille) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Nice. Conceded by Hiroki Sakai.

Corner, Nice. Conceded by Hiroki Sakai.

Attempt blocked. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri.

Attempt saved. Bouna Sarr (Marseille) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Andre Zambo Anguissa.

Attempt missed. Zinedine Machach (Marseille) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

Tomas Hubocan (Marseille) hits the bar with a header from the right side of the six yard box. Assisted by Florian Thauvin with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Marseille. Conceded by Malang Sarr.

Goal!

Goal! Nice 2, Marseille 2. Mario Balotelli (Nice) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Nice. Younès Belhanda replaces Dalbert.

Substitution

Substitution, Nice. Valentin Eysseric replaces Alassane Pléa.

Foul by Vincent Koziello (Nice).

Clinton N'Jie (Marseille) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Nice 1, Marseille 2. Bafétimbi Gomis (Marseille) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Booking

Vincent Koziello (Nice) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty conceded by Vincent Koziello (Nice) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Marseille. Bouna Sarr draws a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Mario Balotelli (Nice) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.

Attempt blocked. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.

Attempt blocked. Ricardo Pereira (Nice) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Marseille. Clinton N'Jie replaces William Vainqueur.

Booking

Doria (Marseille) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alassane Pléa (Nice) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Doria (Marseille).

Attempt saved. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 11th September 2016

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Monaco4310104610
2Nice431063310
3Metz43018539
4Bordeaux43018719
5Guingamp42207438
6Rennes42115237
7PSG42116427
8Lyon42028716
9Bastia42025416
10Caen420256-16
11Toulouse41215325
12Saint-Étienne41216515
13Montpellier412145-15
14Marseille41125504
15Lille411258-34
16Dijon410357-23
17Angers410335-23
18Nantes410315-43
19Nancy410327-53
20Lorient4004210-80
View full French Ligue 1 table

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