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Favre not blaming Balotelli for latest red card

Nice coach Lucien Favre was unwilling to criticise Mario Balotelli after the forward was sent off again in Ligue 1.

Balotelli was shown a red card, seemingly for dissent toward referee Tony Chapron, in the second half of his side's 1-0 win at Lorient on Saturday.

The sending off was the Italian's third since joining Nice in August, but Favre did not want to blame the 26-year-old.

"I am not like that. It's clear that going down to 10 when there are still 25 minutes to play, it's tough," he said, via the club's website.

"Before every game, my final words in the changing rooms are to not get a red and not to give away a penalty.

"I didn't see what happened. Some words must have been said… I don't know.

"Mario had a good week in training, he was more involved, even if you need to back him up a lot because of him getting back into position."

A first-half goal from Wylan Cyprien proved to be enough for Nice to keep the pressure on league leaders Monaco.

Favre praised his team for battling to their victory after Balotelli was sent off in the 68th minute.

"We dug in deep to hold on," he said.

"It is just as equally deserved for the 10 on the pitch as for the two that came on."