Nice moved six points clear at the top of Ligue 1 thanks to a convincing 4-1 win against Nantes.
A Wylian Cyprien brace, partnered with goals from Mario Balotelli and Alassane Plea, secured a sixth straight Ligue 1 victory for Les Aiglons, handing them a commanding lead at the summit of French football.
The league leaders began on the front and opened the scoring inside 10 minutes when a bustling run through the middle from Balotelli ended with the ball breaking kindly for Cyprien to roll the ball into an empty net for his second goal in as many games.
Balotelli went one better just before the half-hour mark, superbly beating the offside trap from Jean Michael Seri’s pass, before finishing easily for his sixth goal in five Ligue 1 games.
Yacine Bammou had an opportunity to hand his side a lifeline before the interval but, after meeting Lima’s cross first time, he could only guide the ball inches over the bar.
However, shortly after the restart, Les Canaris clawed their way back into the game when Mathieu Bodmer was dispossessed on the edge of the area but Emiliano Sala was on hand to fire beyond Yoan Cardinale.
Sala wasted an opportunity moments later after being teed up by Mariusz Stepinski and was made to rue that miss on the hour mark when Plea headed Seri’s corner beyond Remi Riou to restore the hosts’ two-goal cushion.
And the three points were as good as wrapped up with more than 20 minutes still left to play when Balotelli and Ricardo combined to set up Cyprien for his second of the game with a powerful and clinical finish.