Nice lost 2-0 at home in the return leg of their Champions League playoff tie with Napoli, and will have to settle for a spot in a Europa League group this season.
Seconds before Napoli’s first goal, Mario Balotelli got into a discussion with the match officials, apparently for something he was wearing. While he was out, Jose Callejon opened the score for Napoli, pretty much finishing the qualification off, since the Italian side had won 2-0 at home as well.
I don’t know what happened on the first goal. I just saw there was something between Balotelli and the officials
Nice coach Lucien Favre told reporters after the game, obviously frustrated.
Mario did not play well and I should’ve replaced him earlier. I call it the way I see it, he wasn’t good enough tonight
the Swiss coach also said, not much, but still more than what he had told Mediaset Premium seconds after the final whistle, when his whole reply to a Balotelli-related question was a very short “I don’t want to talk about his performance”.
As for his team’s elimination, Favre looked very realistic, admitting that
The Europa League is the right level for Nice and it’ll be a difficult tournament. Napoli are strong, they have been at the top for a while and playing the same style of football for years. Tactically and physically, they were fantastic tonight. From the moment we got them in the draw, I knew it was going to be very difficult.