PARIS — Forward Memphis Depay scored one goal and set up another as Lyon won 3-2 at Monaco in an ill-tempered match where players almost came to blows at the final whistle on Sunday.
Players and staff members pushed and goaded each other around the centre circle when tempers frayed, prompting the referee to distribute four red cards post-game – two from each side.
The defeat dealt a big blow to third-place Monaco’s title hopes, leaving it four points behind second-place Paris Saint-Germain and only one point ahead of fourth-place Lyon with three games left in a tense title race led by Lille.
Monaco had won its last five games, scoring 15 goals and conceding none, and looked to be continuing its run when Kevin Volland finished confidently from strike partner Wissam Ben Yedder’s pass in the 25th minute.
Depay equalized in the 57th with a fine run and deflected shot.
After Lyon midfielder Maxence Caqueret was sent off in the 70th, Depay’s pinpoint free kick from the right was met by central defender Marcelo’s thumping header seven minutes later.
A blunder from Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes led to a penalty for Monaco, which France striker Ben Yedder converted in the 86th for 2-2 in what was his 100th league goal in French soccer.
Monaco nearly scored moments later.
But Lyon’s 17-year-old midfielder Rayan Cherki — the latest top prospect to come through the club’s vaunted academy — came off the bench to finish superbly in the 89th with his first touch of the ball.
It was an eventful day, as Rennes earlier lost ground in the chase for fifth place and a Europa League spot following a 1-0 defeat at struggling Bordeaux.
An early red card for Rennes midfielder Steven Nzonzi tilted the balance and 18-year-old forward Sekou Mara punished Rennes with an 11th-minute goal.
Belgium forward Jeremy Doku hit the post for Rennes in the second half.
The defeat leaves Rennes in seventh place, two points behind Marseille and Lens in fifth, ahead of next weekend’s home game against PSG.
Lorient beat Angers 2-0 to move closer to safety in the 17th spot while 18th-place Nantes boosted its survival hopes with a resounding 4-1 win at Brest.
Nimes drew 2-2 at home to Reims to stay 19th, above relegated Dijon, which lost 5-1 at home to Metz.
Montpellier lost 2-1 at home to Saint-Etienne.
PSG scraped a 2-1 home win against Lens on Saturday, with coach Mauricio Pochettino resting his first-choice midfielders ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League semifinal return leg away to Manchester City. PSG trails 2-1.