Favre bewildered by Balotelli red card

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Nice head coach Lucien Favre says he is still bewildered by the red card handed to star striker Mario Balotelli in the 2-1 win over Lorient on Sunday.

Balotelli's sending off came minutes after the Italian's wonderful strike put his side ahead to go back on top of the Ligue 1 standings, and Favre feels he's been harshly treated after receiving a second booakable offence.

"Honestly, from the dugout, I did not understand at all what happened," he told the club's website.

"It seems Mario did nothing, no bad gesture. I only saw it again on a small screen. I'll have to look at it calmly and see what happened, if something did happen."

Despite his controversial sending off for an apparent 'head butt', Favre has warned the former AC Milan forward that expectations will increase after scoring five goals in his first three games for Les Aiglons.

"Mario has an incredible ability. He's good with his right foot, and his head. There's work to do with his left. You have to be blind not to see that he's very good in front of goal.

"He has a very good attitude towards his teammates and all the staff. He's healthy in his concentration and how he helps the whole team. He does overtime in training, working in front of goal," the German added.

"For the moment, we're taking advantage of his finishing skills but the more we go into the season, the more we'll be demanding of him about his runs, his tracking back.

"It's a very long process. He wants to get back to the very, very top level. We'll get there step-by-step. If we ask too much all at once, it won't work. We'll get there progressively."