The former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra brought back memories of Eric Cantona after being sent off for aiming a kick at a Marseille supporter before his sides Europa League game at Vitria de Guimares.
Trouble flared during the warmup as supporters and players clashed and pictures appeared to show the 36-year-old kicking a fan in the head at the side of the pitch in Portugal. Video footage showed Evra lashing out at one of his own clubs fans as supporters reached the advertising hoardings at the Estadio D Afonso Henriques in Guimares.
The Frenchman was then was ushered away by a team-mate but not before creating history he became the first player to be sent off from a Europa League match before kick-off. Marseille, who also had Boubacar Kamara dismissed during the match, went down 1-0.
The ugly incident was reminiscent of Cantonas infamous kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park in 1995 when the United player was sent off for attacking the Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons. Evra is now likely to face a lengthy Uefa ban while his future at Marseille will come under fierce scrutiny in the coming days.
Rudi Garca, the Marseille coach said: Pat has experience and he must not react. 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.
Evra, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during an eight-year spell with United, joined Marseille from Juventus in January but has struggled to hold down a first-team place. The left-back has not been sent off during a match since 2005, when he was dismissed during Monacos Ligue 1 game against Auxerre.
Lazio are the only team to have won their first four games, but left it late at home to Nice. An injury-time own goal from Maxime Le Marchand secured the Italian sides place in the knockout stages with a 1-0 win. Zenit also went through thanks to a late goal, Aleksander Kokorins 93rd-minute equaliser cancelling out Nicklas Bendtners penalty for Rosenborg. Dynamo Kyiv, who won 1-0 in Bern against Young Boys, and Steaua Bucharest also progressed.
Surprise package Ostersunds, managed by Englishman Graham Potter, missed the chance to qualify for the last 32 as they lost 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao, Aritz Aduriz scoring the winner with 20 minutes to go. The surprise result of the night came in Moscow, as Moldovas Sheriff Tiraspol beat Lokomotiv 2-1 to move above them in Group F.
Cologne helped Arsenal to qualify for the knockout stages with a thumping 5-2 win over Bate Borisov. Yuya Osako scored twice as the hosts rattled in more goals than they had scored in 10 Bundesliga matches. In Group E, Atalanta kept ahead of Lyon at the top with a 1-1 draw at Apollon Limassol, while Villarreal won 2-0 against Slavia Prague and Real Sociedad eliminated Vardar with a 3-0 win.