Balotelli earns Garcia’s praise after netting winner

BOLOGNA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06: Mario Balotelli of Italy looks on during Italy walk around at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on September 6, 2018 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Marseille striker Mario Balotelli earned the plaudits of his manager Rudi Garcia after scoring the winner win against his old club Nice at the Stade Velodrome.

Balotelli powered home the header in the 61st minute to bag his fifth in seven appearances for Marseille in their 1-0 win.

And Rudi Garcia was happy with clinical nature of the Italian striker and went on to lavish praises on him.

Garcia was quoted by L’Equipe as telling Canal Plus after the game: “When we have a scorer like (Balotelli), of this calibre, we do not need 36 chances.

“I am very happy for him in the way he behaved. I think he handled this game very well beyond his goal.”

Marseille did not create a lot of chances in the game with Florian Thauvin’s shot the only effort in the first half.

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The win extended a six-game unbeaten run for Garcia’s side currently three points behind third-placed Lyon.

“I’m happy with what we do but we are not where we want to be,” Garcia added.

“It was important to win tonight but we are already preparing the next match (against leaders Paris St Germain away next Sunday).

“We will have time to talk about it, we play a very big team, the best of the championship.”

Nice boss Patrick Vieira, whose side are ninth, stated the game was complicated for both teams.

“It’s a bit like the first match (Marseille’s 1-0 at Nice in October), overall we can not say that Marseille has been better, but on arrival, we lose.

“It is like our season, it is hard to create opportunities, but overall we have not been too much in danger.”

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