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Favre critical of Balotelli performance after jewellery shenanigans

Mario Balotelli was strongly criticised by Nice head coach Lucien Favre after his side lost their Champions League play-off tie against Napoli.

Balotelli was off the field, arguing with match officials about the covering of his jewellery, when Napoli took the lead through Jose Callejon shortly after half-time.

That goal extended Napoli's advantage to 3-0 on aggregate and Lorenzo Insigne later struck to make sure of Napoli's place in the group stage, with Balotelli ineffective up front.

The Italian's lack of impact earned the wrath of his coach, who singled Balotelli out for criticism after the loss at the Allianz Riviera.

"I don't want to talk about his performance," Favre told Mediaset Premium. "It was a negative performance and he should have come off a lot earlier."

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In his news conference, an exasperated Favre again hit out at Balotelli, who scored 15 Ligue 1 goals last season to earn a new contract.

"When one or two players do absolutely nothing out on the field, it's impossible to win a match against anyone," Favre said. 

"Mario wasn't on song tonight - we have to call it like it is. He was barely invested and I should have taken him off earlier.

"We started to show some promise once I replaced him with a youngster no one has heard of [Ignatius Ganago].

"To build a team, you have to replace the materials that were there and we haven't done that yet - far from it."