Nice's Alassane Plea celebrates after scoring a penalty against Metz. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
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Alassane Plea showed once more that he can fill in perfectly well for star striker Mario Balotelli, scoring a hat-trick as unbeaten French leaders Nice won 4-2 at Metz Sunday.Nice were missing Balotelli through injury, but Plea scored for the third time this season when leading the attack in his absence.The 23-year-old Frenchman displayed great composure with two one-on-one finishes – including a key goal in the 84th minute – as Nice won for the eighth time in 10 games under Swiss coach Lucien Favre, who joined after six seasons with German club Borussia Moenchengladbach.Moments after having a shot saved, Plea made another great run behind the defense and slotted coolly past goalkeeper Thomas Didillon.Saivet joined Newcastle in January on a five-year contract but made only four league appearances last season and was loaned to Saint-Etienne following Newcastle's relegation to the second tier.
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