Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar was one of five players sent off following a fracas during fierce rivals Marseille’s derby victory.
The clash saw an incredible 12 yellow cards shown by referee Jerome Brisard inside normal time as tensions flared on the pitch – and the shocking melee that was sparked into life deep inside stoppage time saw both teams punished.
Marseille’s Dario Benedetto and PSG man Leandro Paredes had clashed with the visitors leading by a single goal, and their coming together soon developed into a full-scale scrap involving a large number of stars.
Neymar also found himself involved, and soon received his marching orders for a punch on defender Alvaro Gonzalez after the official checked his VAR screen to review the unsavoury incident.
As he trudged off the Parc des Princes pitch, Neymar could be seen telling the fourth official about an alleged incident of racist abuse, seemingly involving Gonzalez, to add another sickening twist to the evening.
Television footage and a pitchside microphone appear to have caught Neymar pointing at the centre back in question and shouting: ‘Racism, no?’
Neymar soon took to social media to vent his frustrations. He wrote: ‘My only regret is not hitting that a****** in the face.’
Andre Villas-Boas, the Marseille boss, said he hoped that racism had not further marred the clash. He told Telefoot: ‘I do not know, I hope not, I hope that nothing has happened’.
Angel Di Maria, also returning for PSG, was then sensationally accused of spitting on Gonzalez by Villas-Boas.
The attempts to restore calm from the man in the middle fell on deaf ears. Layvin Kurzawa and Jordan Amavi were also caught striking out at each other, with Brisard showing them straight red cards too.
Paredes and Benedetto were the next players banished back inside after picking up their second bookings.
PSG’s run to the final of last season’s elongated Champions League saw them allowed two extra weeks to prepare for the new Ligue 1 term.
Thomas Tuchel will have been left speechless after his team’s horror start, however.
A depleted side fell to a slender defeat against Lens on Thursday, and Marseille were able to inflict further misery despite Neymar featuring.
The hosts were forced to play out the dying stages of the tempestuous encounter with eight men, with Marseille reduced to nine.
Thauvin’s goal on 31 minutes proved enough to ensure PSG remain in the drop zone.