Mario Balotelli was sent off on his return to first team action but Lucien Favre's side held on to snatch a 1-0 win at Lorient on Saturday. The result means Nice gain ground on Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.
Wylan Cyprien scored the only goal of the game in Brittany, collecting Arnaud Souquet's pass and firing home from inside the area on the quarter hour mark. The result allowed Nice to leapfrog Paris Saint-Germain and return to second place and inch to within three points of Monaco, who could only muster a 1-1 draw at Bastia on Friday.
Balotelli was sent off for dissent midway through the second half. It was his third red card this season in the French top flight, although his first, also against Lorient back in October, was later overturned.
The Italian, who has scored nine league goals, has endured a frustrating couple of weeks; he was dropped from the team for a 1-0 win against Saint-Etienne and then missed last week's draw at Rennes due to illness, but returned in Lorient in place of leading scorer Alassane Plea.
Victory on the road
It was a first away win since the end of November for Nice, while Lorient remain rooted to the foot of the table on 22 points - five away from safety.