The Nice supporters saw both sides of Mario Balotelli during the final five minutes of this afternoon’s Ligue 1 clash against Lorient.
The enigmatic Italian striker, who has enjoyed an excellent start to his spell in France, scored a magnificent winning goal in the 86th minute.
However, the 26-year-old let himself down by picking up two yellow cards inside the next five minutes. Rather than earning the adulation of his teammates, he ended up earning himself a (slightly) early bath instead. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).
First of all, let’s start with Balotelli’s exquisite goal - his sixth in five matches for his new employers.
After receiving the ball inside the penalty area, Balotelli produced a subtle dummy which fooled two Lorient defenders. He then sent a blistering curling shot past goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte.
Video: Balotelli's stunning goal
Here's another angle...
It was a moment of magic from the Liverpool flop, who celebrated by whipping off his shirt.
Video: Balotelli is sent off minutes later
Referee Olivier Thaul, abiding by the rules, brandished the yellow card in Balotelli’s direction.
He could have few complaints with that booking but he’ll feel that his second - minutes later - was extremely harsh. And he might have a point.
Balotelli squared up to Steven Moreira with his head and this was enough to earn himself a second yellow card.
In truth, there was very little in it. However, once you put your head in, you run the risk of being booked or even sent off.
Both happened to Balotelli - Moreira, incidentally, was also booked for his part in the altercation - and he will now miss Nice’s clash against Lyon next Friday night.
Here's how Twitter reacted...
Does this prove that Mario Balotelli isn’t a changed man - or was the red card harsh? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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