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FRENCH LIGUE 1

2017/2018 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
7 St. Etienne 15 10 13 55
8 Nice 15 9 14 54
9 Nantes 14 10 14 52
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 By Ian Holyman

Mario Balotelli equals career scoring mark in Nice's draw at Monaco

Mario Balotelli continues to make great strides but remains "a work in progress," Nice coach Lucien Favre said after seeing his star forward equal a career record.

Balotelli scored both goals in Nice's 2-2 draw at Monaco on Tuesday to take his tally for the Ligue 1 season to 12 in just 13 starts.

He is now three goals shy of his total from the entire 2016-17 campaign -- his first since his move from Liverpool -- and means he now has scored 27 goals for Nice in only 38 league appearances.

That equals the mark he achieved for AC Milan, albeit in 63 Serie A matches. He has not scored more than 27 league goals for any other club during his career.

Favre singled out Balotelli for praise after the game, but added the former Manchester City and Inter Milan forward still has work to do.

"Mario is a lot better than last season," Favre said. "This was his first start since the game against Bordeaux in mid-December, and he scored in that game too. Mario is coming back from very, very far [and] given recent years, it's a work in progress, but his improvement can continue. That's great.

"It's up to him to help himself and for us to help him. He is putting in the effort, and I think he could do more in getting himself away from his markers. Mario will never be a player who'll track back 60 metres, but that's not what we ask of him in a game."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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