Montpellier on edge as end nears

Younes Belhanda was sent off amid a mass brawl and then turned on team mate Olivier Giroud for not taking a penalty, as French league leaders Montpellier's nerves started jangling with Ligue 1 entering the home straight.

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Souleymane Camara missed the stoppage-time penalty in the hosts' 2-2 draw with Evian Thonon Gaillard on Tuesday, having been made to wait for more than five minutes to take it after a brawl erupted on the pitch leading to Belhanda's sending off.

Morocco midfielder Belhanda, arguably Montpellier's best player this season, then berated league top scorer Giroud for not taking the penalty himself.

"I thought Olivier Giroud would take the penalty because it was his turn," Belhanda, who could face a multiple game ban for punching Evian's Cedric Mongongu on his way back to the dressing room, told sports daily L'Equipe on Thursday.

"And I see that Camara is taking care of it although he never takes a penalty. I ask him if he's sure about it and he says yes...

"There is one (player, Giroud), who can almost hand us the title and he doesn't take it (the penalty). It was up to him to take his responsibilities."

France striker Giroud, however, refused to respond or add fuel to the flames. "He (Souleymane) took his responsibilities and we cannot blame him. Everybody misses penalties, starting with me. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo missed one last week," he told L'Equipe.

"However, we are still the leaders and we have our fate in our hands."

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