Mario Balotelli netted twice, and belatedly broke his away duck, as Nice came from behind to beat Lille and keep their Ligue 1 title challenge alive.
A 2-1 away win put the visitors on 70 points, one ahead of Paris St Germain and two behind leaders Monaco having played twice more than both of their rivals.
Lucien Favre’s side went behind in the 14th minute at Stade Pierre-Mauroy when Ibrahim Amadou’s deflected effort evaded Yoan Cardinale.
Balotelli did not allow that lead to last long though, the Italian latching on to a fine touch from Valentin Eysseric to level the scores inside just two minutes.
Remarkably, each of the well-travelled striker’s previous 11 league goals for the club had come on home soil at the Allianz Riviera.
Another trend in the 26-year-old’s scoring pattern has been a tendency for goals to in pairs and so it was for the fourth time this season, when he showed his predatory instincts.
Ricardo Pereira had the initial shot and when it was parried by Vincent Enyeama, Balotelli was alert enough to poke home from close range.
Lille had one clear opportunity to salvage something but Xeka’s 85th-minute effort was well saved by Cardinale.
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