LATE DRAMA AS EVIAN HOLD MONTPELLIER
Four players were sent off deep in injury-time before Souleymane Camara missed a match-deciding penalty as title-chasing Montpellier drew 2-2 with Evian in the most dramatic fashion.
Victory would have put the hosts eight points clear of Paris St Germain at the top of Ligue 1, but instead Rene Girard saw his side lose both Younes Belhanda and Gregory Lacombe to red cards as a brawl broke out prior to the all-important spot-kick.
Belhanda was due to take the penalty but was dismissed for pushing an Evian player out of the area.
That led to a mass fight on the pitch, with players, substitutes and coaching staff, including Girard, all involved.
Red cards were then issued to Lacombe as well as Evian pair Saber Khelifa and Cedric Mongongu.
Almost 10 minutes into added time, Camara finally took the penalty, with Stephan Andersen saving.
Belhanda had earlier put Montpellier in front from the spot before Thomas Kahlenberg and Kevin Berigaud turned the game on its head.
Olivier Giroud levelled in the 84th minute, but the drama had only just started.
Montpellier had begun powerfully, fashioning half a dozen chances in the first 15 minutes.
Yet the opening goal somehow took 42 minutes to come, Andersen clattering into Giroud in the area to concede the penalty. Belhanda, this time at least, converted without fuss.
An equaliser arrived against the run of play just two minutes later, Khelifa's header finding Kahlenberg who volleyed home.
Remy Cabella had two decent chances saved by Andersen after the restart but Evian took the lead on the counter-attack when Berigaud finished again on the volley following good work from Cedric Barbosa.
Montpellier looked to be slipping to defeat until a terrible error six minutes from time as the whole Evian back-line - including the goalkeeper - stopped in expectation of an offside flag against Giroud.
It did not come and with his opponents static, the striker was left with a simple finish.
Ninety minutes had come and gone by the time Cedric Cambon conceded the visitors' second penalty of the evening, fouling Cabella. Manic scenes and a flurry of cards followed, but no third goal for the table-toppers.
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