Balotelli can return to the top – Favre backs Nice star for greatness

Balotelli can return to the top – Favre backs Nice star for greatness

Sep 22, 2016 07:48:44

The Swiss believes boosts to the striker’s confidence following his barnstorming start to Ligue 1 can propel him back amongst the best in the game

Nice coach Lucien Favre believes Mario Balotelli is on track to return to the top level after another brace in Ligue 1.

The Italian forward struck twice as Nice crushed Monaco 4-0 to move top of the table on Wednesday.

After a poor spell at Liverpool, and on loan at AC Milan, Balotelli has now netted four times in two league games for Nice.

And, after the 26-year-old claimed he can still lift the Ballon d’Or, Favre feels his star is slowly demonstrating the level he can play at again.

“The goal for 2-0 is very important. Psychologically, it really gives confidence. We know we have the margin,” he told reporters.

With Mario, we know there is still a lot of work in the movement to play with the team.

“His goal for 2-0, the angle was hard, the goalkeeper is good. He must continue like this.

“He becomes aware that he will return to the top level if he is professional. After difficult years for him, the recovery will be the key to return to the top.

“Gradually, we will try to help him become stronger. Four goals in the first two Ligue 1 matches? No, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Balotelli struck on the half-hour mark when he took a pass from Younes Belhanda before finishing across the goalkeeper and off the post.

His second was a simple finish after being played through by Ricardo Pereira.

Simeone happy with Atletico response

Simeone happy with Atletico response

El Cholo was delighted to see Angel Correa grab a point for his side in a tough Liga clash, after they fell behind to Ivan Rakitic’s strike before half-time

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone praised his team’s second-half performance after earning a 1-1 draw at Barcelona in La Liga on Wednesday.

The visitors fell behind to an Ivan Rakitic goal just before half-time at Camp Nou, but Angel Correa secured a point with his equaliser just after the hour-mark.

Simeone was pleased with what his team produced after the break as they left with a well-earned point.

“For us, it is always difficult to draw anything positive from Camp Nou,” he told a news conference.

“In the first half, we defended well, but we could not counter-attack. The goal in the second half made us react.

“In the second half we are much more dangerous. After the draw, we waited for our opportunity with the players that we had to play the spaces.”

Simeone also talked up the display of midfielder Thomas Partey, who came on with 17 minutes remaining.

“He gave us power in the midfield to counter better in the last few minutes with [Fernando] Torres, [Antoine] Griezmann and Correa.”

The result sees Atletico sitting fourth in the table, four points adrift of league leaders and city rivals Real Madrid.

Filipe Luis turning football into a circus – Suarez blasts Atletico defender’s Instagram moan

Filipe Luis turning football into a circus – Suarez blasts Atletico defender's Instagram moan          Sep 22, 2016 07:35:49

The Barcelona star did not respond kindly to the Brazilian’s claim on social media that he suffered a bloody injury at his studs

Luis Suarez has blasted Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis after the full-back posted a photograph on Instagram of an injury he claims the Barcelona forward inflicted.

Barca were held to a 1-1 draw in Wednesday’s La Liga contest at Camp Nou, after which Filipe Luis promptly uploaded an image of his bloodied right foot, bearing a stud mark.

He wrote a tongue-in-cheek caption to accompany the image, which read: “At least he didn’t touch me.”

But Suarez, who was booked for the foul on the former Chelsea defender, was in no mood for apologies when questioned about the social media post, telling reporters: “Football is for men.

“Everything stays on the pitch. If everyone uploaded what happens, the game would become a circus.”

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