Eight goals shared
Montpellier pressed the self-destruct button and Lorient's Vincent Aboubakar gladly helped force a 4-4 draw in Ligue 1.
Last Updated: 20/04/14 8:15pm
Imperilled Montpellier decided to press the self-destruct button late on Sunday afternoon and Lorient super-sub Vincent Aboubakar gladly helped force a remarkable 4-4 draw in Ligue 1.
Remy Cabella's brace and goals from M'Baye Niang and Jean Deza saw the 2012 French champions - down to 10 men thanks to goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren's early dismissal - cruising towards victory.
La Paillade needed all three points to shirk a lingering threat of relegation, but they would escape with only one as Lorient ran riot across six crazy minutes at the Stade du Moustoir.
Jeremie Aliadiere's first-half penalty kept the Brittany club in sight of the unlikely draw and Kevin Monnet-Pacquet halved the deficit on 87 minutes before Aboubakar plundered a brace from the bench.
And so while Montpellier had at one point climbed as high as 10th in the table during the match, they shrank back into 14th place and sit only six points clear of the drop zone with four games remaining.
After Lorient tested their visitors through Alain Traore and Monnet-Pacquet, Cabella's opener arrived on 25 minutes.
The Corsican swept up a loose ball before dribbling past Wes Lautoa and rifling the ball into the top corner.
Six minutes later, Lorient drew level from the penalty spot, Aliadiere doing the honours after Joudren brought the former Arsenal striker down in the area.
Laurent Pionnier took the gloves and, while he failed to guess correctly on Aliadiere's spot-kick, he enjoyed most of the second half as a spectator as Montpellier steadily pulled three goals clear.
Niang's 56th-minute goal came at the end of a mazy dribble across 30 yards of the Moustoir pitch and, 22 minutes later, substitute Deza seized on a canny Jonas Martin pass to surprise Fabian Audard.
Cabella doubled up for the day with 10 minutes to go. At the end of a swift counter-attack Deza released his team-mate down the right and he pinged the ball home through Audard's legs.
The away end was bouncing and all that remained was to safely navigate the final exchanges and return south victorious.
But Monnet-Pacquet sparked a remarkable comeback with a curling shot on Aboubakar's assist from the left wing.
Montpellier were suddenly at sixes and sevens and saw their healthy lead slashed to a single goal on the stroke of full-time as Aboubakar capitalised on a woeful pass from Pionnier to beat him with ease.
The stand-in stopper was rightfully embarrassed, but could do nothing to stop the strike that finally unravelled all of his team-mates' hard work.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Aboubakar grabbed Lorient an unexpected share of the points with a goal of real quality.
After arriving at speed in the Montpellier box, the Cameroon striker controlled Aliadiere's cross on his chest and volleyed the ball home with his powerful right foot.