Football: Nice lose again without Balotelli as Sneijder looks on | The Star Online

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Nice lose again without Balotelli as Sneijder looks on


  • Football
  • Saturday, 12 Aug 2017

PARIS (Reuters) - Nice slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by promoted Troyes on Friday and having now lost their opening two Ligue 1 games they cannot wait for new recruit Wesley Sneijder to be fit enough to play.

The southern French side, who were missing injured striker Mario Balotelli, were wasteful up front and surrendered the points when Saif-Eddine Khaoui struck five minutes from time.

Nice's Alassane Plea netted a penalty just past the hour to cancel out Adama Niane's opener for the visitors soon after the break but it was not enough for the hosts, who travel to Napoli on Wednesday for a Champions League playoff first leg.

The 33-year-old Sneijder, who joined from Galatasaray this week, was presented to the Allianz Riviera crowd before the game and the Dutch international's creativity was sorely missed.

Troyes went ahead nine minutes into the second half when Niane's delicate chip beat Yoan Cardinale after some poor communication between the keeper and defender Dante.

Ten minutes later, Nice's Lees Melou was brought down in the box and striker Plea converted the spot kick.

For Olympique Lyonnais, Dominican striker Mariano Diaz scored in their 2-0 win at Stade Rennais to take his tally to three goals in two matches and lift his side to top spot.

Memphis Depay opened the scoring with a curled free kick in the 58th minute and Diaz doubled the tally with a header 15 minutes from the whistle.

Benjamin Bourigeaud reduced the arrears in the 86th but it was too little, too late for Rennes.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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