Tue, Mar 05, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Balotelli posts celebration on Instagram mid-match


Olympique de Marseille’s Mario Balotelli, left, celebrates scoring against AS Saint-Etienne by taking a selfie with Florian Thauvin in their Ligue 1 match in Marseille, France, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Mario Balotelli on Sunday showed off a new goal celebration as he took a selfie video with his Olympique de Marseille teammates and posted it on social media during their 2-0 win over AS Saint-Etienne.

The Italian scored his fourth goal in six Ligue 1 games since joining Marseille from OGC Nice in January by hooking home Florian Thauvin’s 12th-minute corner with an excellent acrobatic volley.

“Balotelli takes the pressure, he takes the limelight. He reminds me of [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and he scored an Ibrahimovic goal,” Saint-Etienne coach Jean-Louis Gasset said. “He has brought back the public, the confidence, and many of his teammates will raise their level of play.”

As he celebrated his volley, Balotelli took a smartphone from the cameraman behind the goal, before filming the video with his laughing teammates and posting it on Instagram.

The 28-year-old then carried on playing.

He was not the first player to produce a selfie-based celebration, after AS Roma great Francesco Totti took a picture of himself after scoring against SS Lazio in the Rome derby in 2015.

Marseille doubled their lead nine minutes later through a Thauvin penalty and closed out the win with ease.

Rudi Garcia’s men have now taken 13 points from their past five league matches to leapfrog Saint-Etienne into fourth, just five points adrift of Olympique Lyonnais in the race for the third and final UEFA Champions League spot.

Earlier on Sunday, Moussa Dembele scored twice as Lyon thrashed Toulouse 5-1 to strengthen their grip on third place.

Coach Bruno Genesio’s Lyon continued their strong season by moving six points clear of fourth-placed Saint-Etienne.

“Often this season, we haven’t been calm under pressure, but against Toulouse it was a good match,” said Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, whose 21-year-old younger brother, Yassin, made his Ligue 1 debut as a 79th-minute substitute. “Playing with my brother was a huge pleasure.”

Also on Sunday, it was:

‧ Guigamp 0, Nantes 0

‧ Lille OSC 1, Dijon FCO 0

‧ OGC Nice 1, Strasbourg 0

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