Nice continued to stutter in the Ligue 1 title race as they played out a frustrating draw with 10-man Bastia at the Stade Armand-Cesari on Friday
A point sees Lucian Favre's men return to the top of the table, but Monaco will quickly retake their place atop the summit by beating Lorient on Sunday, while champions Paris Saint-Germain can close within a point with victory at Nantes.
It has been a frustrating start to 2017 for surprise package Nice, who drew 0-0 with rock-bottom Metz last weekend after Lorient knocked them out of the Coupe de France, and they have now drawn three straight league games.
Nice's struggles continued in the 17th minute when Prince Oniangue put the home side ahead after Sadio Diallo saw his shot blocked.
But the visitors were level shortly after the half-hour when Wylan Cyprien set up Arnaud Souquet for the equaliser.
Mario Balotelli then threatened twice in the closing stages of the first half, first seeing an ambitious long-range strike kept out by goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca before firing a shot over the crossbar from just outside the area.
Nice were further boosted as Bastia were reduced to 10 men in the 64th minute when Yannick Cahuzac received two yellow cards within the space of eight minutes, but they were unable to take advantage of the numerical advantage.
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