Patrice Evra facing lengthy ban after kicking Marseille fan in the head before Europa League match
Patrice Evra kicked a Marseille fan in the head
Marseille's Patrice Evra was sent off before their Europa League game had even started for aiming a kick at the head of one of his club's own supporters.
The former Manchester United defender, named as a substitute for the French side's fixture away to Vitoria, lashed out at the fan in a heated confrontation before Thursday night's match in Portugal.
The 36-year-old now faces almost certain sanction by UEFA following scenes reminiscent of Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park in 1995.
Video footage showed Evra aiming the kick at the Marseille fan as visiting players and supporters, who had seemingly scaled barriers to reach the advertising hoardings at the Estadio D Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes, confronted each other at the side of the pitch. He was then ushered away by a team-mate.
Marseille boss Rudi Garcia revealed afterwards Evra had reacted to taunts from the fans, but still criticised his actions.
"Pat has experience and he must not react, it's obvious," Garcia was quoted by L'Equipe as telling BeIN Sports.
"Patrice is a more than experienced player and we cannot respond to insults so low and so incredible because they come from one of our supporters."
On the fan, Garcia said: "He is not a supporter of OM, because you cannot insult your own players, you have to be behind everyone."
Evra, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during an eight-year spell with United, joined Marseille from Juventus in January.
He has made just two appearances for the club in all competitions this season, though.