Nice have strengthened their spot at the top of the Ligue 1 table after beating a 10 man Lyon 2 – 0 at home over the weekend.

The team, which has amassed 23 points from nine games, is now four points ahead of Monaco and PSG which are tied on 19 points.

The match saw Mario Balotelli miss a late penalty for Nice but they won nonetheless thanks to goals from Paul Baysse and Jean Michael Seri either side of half time. Balotelli’s athleticism and physical presence caused problems for Lyon throughout the match and despite missing the penalty he was still an invaluable part of the game.

Balotelli joined Nice after two fruitless seasons with Liverpool and AC Milan and many had written him off. However, he then went on to score five goals in his first three games proving that he is anything but a spent force.

Lyon, who are sixth in the table on 13 points, played more than two thirds of the game with just 10 men after forward Nabil Fekir was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Baysse in the 28th minute. It was Baysse that opened the scoring for Nice with a neat volley from just inside the area in the fifth minute of the game.

Nice then scored a second with 14 minutes left of the clock when Seri fired home after a strike from Younes Belhanda bounced off the post and into the path of the midfielder.

Monaco will be disappointed after they wasted a one goal lead as Toulouse fought back following Valere Germain’s fourth minute opener. The hosts went on to equalise through Oscar Trejo in the 65th minute and then Martin Braithwaite found the back of the next twice, in the 84th and 87th minutes.