Balotelli missing as Vieira loses first game as Nice manager

Patrick Vieira lost his first game in charge of Nice
Patrick Vieira lost his first game in charge of Nice

Patrick Vieira’s first game as manager of Ligue 1 side Nice ended in a narrow home defeat by Stade de Reims.

Nice was without their maverick Italian striker Mario Balotelli who wants to return to the Italian Serie A.

The former Manchester City and Liverpool forward was not listed in the 23-man squad that faced Reims.

Reports claim that Vieira is keen to help Balotelli seal a move to Serie A newcomers, Parma.

The former Arsenal midfielder who has been away from the French domestic game since leaving Cannes in 1995, would not be bothered by the result as the Nice crowd chanted his name throughout.

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After retiring as a player, Vieira was Manchester City’s development coach and moved into management with New York City before joining Nice in June.

Reims’ Moussa Doumbia scored the only goal of the game after two minutes.

Nice have lost a number of high-profile players since finishing eighth last season, including Fulham’s new recruit Jean Michael Seri and Alassane Plea, who has moved to Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Riviera club will continue their domestic campaign with a trip to Caen on 18 August.

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