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The best Côte d'Azur derbies of the 21st century

Publish on 05/03/2020 at 05:40 - D. CROSSAN

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With the Côte d'Azur derby coming up on Saturday evening, ligue1.com recalls the three best Nice - Monaco clashes of the 21st century.

MONACO 3-0 NICE, February 4 2017

First played second in the derby for the first time since the 1977-1978 season in THE match of Round 23 of a pulsating season. The clubs were level on points at kick-off and the clash lived up to all its promise as the sides went in at half-time with the scoreline blank before Monaco's quality made the difference in the second period.

Former Nice loanee Valère Germain (48') beat Yoan Cardinale to give the home team the lead and then Radamel Falcao took over, the captain scoring a double (60' and 81') in a match in which he won the battle of the forwards with Mario Balotelli hands down. Monaco inflicted only Nice's second defeat of the season as Les Aiglons dropped to third in the table behind Paris Saint-Germain.

Monaco went on to win the title by eight points from PSG with Nice ending third a further nine points back.

NICE 4-0 MONACO, September 21 2016

Nice hammered future champions Monaco 4-0 to go top of the early season table. Whoever won this derby was destined to lead the standings and Nice's new signing Mario Balotelli ensured it would be Lucien Favre's side looking down on the rest come the end of the game.

The Italian international had scored a double on debut against Olympique de Marseille and the striker followed up with another in the derby to confirm his status as an instant Les Aiglons hero. Defender Paul Baysse (18') opened the scoring with a header and then on the half-hour Balotelli applied the perfect finish after being set up by Younes Belhanda, Nice's other big name recruit.

Wylan Cyprien invited Balotelli to score a second (68') and then Tiémoué Bakayoko was sent off (84') conceding a penalty. Danijel Subasic saved from Alassane Plea but could do nothing to keep out the former Lyon attacker two minutes later (86'). Nice also won 4-0 at home to Monaco the following season with Balotelli netting another double.

MONACO 3-4 NICE, October 2 2004

Champions League finalists the previous season, Monaco were 3-0 up after an hour. Javier Saviola, the smallest player on the pitch, headed the hosts into the lead (5') and the Argentinian's feat was backed up by Emmanuel Adebayor (20') with another header as both goals were created by Javier Chevanton. Togolese forward Adebayor, just 20, then scored his second of the game (60') following a mistake by Nice goalkeeper Damien Grégorini.

At that stage Gernot Rohr's side looked well and truly out of it but they managed to produce the most incredible of derby comebacks. Nigerian attacker Victor Agali (67') followed up to score after Flavio Roma had saved from Marama Vahirua. With the noise building, Agali raced onto an astute Serge Dié pass, rounded Roma and reduced the arrears to a single goal (72').  And two minutes later (74') it was all square as Agali completed his hat-trick, latching on to a flick-on by on-loan forward Edgaras Jankauskas. There was only going to be one winner now and Vahirua sent the home fans wild (82') as he finished off a Cédric Varrault cross. Monaco coach Didier Deschamps couldn't believe his eyes.

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