After a miserable time at Liverpool and an equally frustrating subsequent loan spell back at AC Milan, Mario Balotelli has made an impressive start to life at Nice and he looked to continue that on Friday night.
The surprise Ligue 1 leaders stretched their advantage at the top to four points as they beat fifth-placed Lyon at the Allianz Riviera - however not everything went exactly to plan for Balotelli on a personal level.
Nine minutes from time, with his side two goals in the lead and Lyon down to ten men, the Italy striker had a great chance to put the game to bed from the penalty spot but, as you can see in the video further down the page, he squandered that opportunity.
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The 26-year-old initially showed good awareness and intelligence to win the spot-kick by getting his body in between the ball and Jordy Gaspar, forcing the 19-year-old defender to bring him down, much to Balotelli's delight.
The confident centre-forward has been extremely reliable from 12 yards out throughout his career, however on this occasion he saw his effort athletically saved by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes:
Balotelli's penalty method
Like a few others, Balotelli has a reputation of delaying the taking of his penalties as much as possible while he "waits" for the 'keeper to make a move so he can slot the ball in the opposite corner.
As mentioned before, he's usually successful with his method of not looking directly at the ball and stuttering during his run-up, but it didn't work for him against Lopes.
The problem was that the Portugal international stayed upright between the sticks for a long enough period of time to put Balotelli off and he guessed correctly to make a brilliant one-handed stop to his right.
Fortunately for Balotelli, it wasn't a miss which cost his team any points and despite failing to score in the game, he's already registered five league goals in just six appearances for Nice and six in all competitions.
Next up for his new club is a Europa League tie at Red Bull Salzburg before they return to Ligue 1 action away to Metz next Sunday.
Will Super Mario recover from the penalty miss and continue his good form? Share YOUR opinion in the comments box below!
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