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Montpellier misses penalty in 2-2 draw with Evian

Montpellier misses penalty in 2-2 draw with Evian

French leader Montpellier missed a penalty in the fourth minute of injury time Tuesday after a mass brawl between players to draw 2-2 at home with Evian, wasting the chance to put more pressure on Paris Saint-Germain.
Evian led 2-1 until Olivier Giroud scored his league-leading 21st goal of the season for Montpellier in the 84th minute.
Winger Remy Cabella was fouled in the penalty area with just seconds remaining, but forward Souleymane Camara's spot kick was saved by goalkeeper Stephan Andersen.
Camara had to wait several minutes to take the penalty after fighting erupted with Montpellier's Younes Belhanda and Evian's Cedric Mongongu trading blows. Both players were sent off.
PSG can trim Montpellier's six-point lead to three by beating Saint-Etienne at home on Wednesday. Both teams will then have three matches left, with Montpellier still to face defending champion Lille, which is two points behind PSG in third place.
Montpellier could have been provisionally eight points clear if Camara's penalty had gone in, but it was not easy for the Senegal striker. He stood staring ahead for a full five minutes as he waited for the commotion to subside.
Even Montpellier coach Rene Girard had to be restrained as about 20 players and officials from both teams confronted each other in a melee of pushing, shoving and the odd punch thrown.
When Camara did finally take the penalty, his kick was at a comfortable height and Andersen leapt to his right to push it away.
Montpellier normally alternates between Giroud and Younes Belhanda on penalties, and Camara's decision to take it was even more surprising considering Belhanda had put Montpellier ahead from the spot in the 42nd after Andersen had barged into Giroud.
Evian equalized two minutes later when striker Saber Khalifa flicked on a high ball and midfielder Thomas Kahlenberg slid in to poke it home.
The visitors took the lead when Cedric Barbosa burst into the penalty area and pulled the ball back for striker Kevin Berigaud to sweep it in from close range in the 69th.
But Montpellier equalized when Camara gathered the ball on the left and gave Giroud an easy tap-in from three yards out.
Montpellier then surged forward in search of a winning goal.
Camara's header from Cabella's cross in the 89th narrowly missed the top corner, and Belhanda almost scored with a fine solo run and shot.
Cabella dribbled past four players in a mesmeric run before being hacked down as he closed in on goal.
Although it looked like a clear penalty, some of Evian's players were enraged with Belhanda and Mongongu arguing vehemently before touching their foreheads together.
Referee Olivier Thual intervened and sent both off. Trouble followed as they walked away, Mongongu slapping Belhanda on the head and the Morocco midfielder responding with a right-hand punch that caught his opponent's cheek.
That sparked wild scenes as almost everyone ran off the bench to get involved, with Giroud, Cabella and Kahlenberg desperately trying to pull their teammates away.


Updated : 2021-05-13 11:38 GMT+08:00