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Pepe leads 42-man brawl as Atletico qualify for Champions League

Former Real Madrid defender Pepe was at the centre of a 42-man brawl as Atletico Madrid’s crucial Champions League group stage clash with Porto descended into chaos in the second half…where there’s a brawl, there’s usually veteran Portuguese defender Pepe.

And so it proved once again on Wednesday, with the 38-year-old at the centre of the drama as Atletico Madrid’s crucial Champions League clash against Porto descended into a 42-man ruckus with two players sent off.

The La Liga side were leading 1-0 when the game at Estadio do Dragao lurched into chaos.

Atletico were already a man down after referee Clement Turpin had dismissed Belgium international Yannick Carrasco for lashing out.

Carrasco grabbed the ball to try and slow the game down, but struck one of Porto’s players when he saw the ball being taken from him.

Yannick Carrasco was sent off midway through the second half.

Diego Simeone’s side then began appealing for the majority of decisions in an attempt to decrease the pace of the game still further and hold on to their narrow lead.

Little over three minutes after Carrasco received his marching orders, Porto were also reduced to ten men when Brazilian full-back Wendell was shown a red card after appearing to strike an Atletico player.

That prompted a furious reaction from both teams, with players and coaches clashing on the touchline.

Pepe, not one to shy away from conflict, was front and centre of the fracas and could be seen on TV yelling in the face of one of the Porto players.

Former Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann had put Atletico ahead in the second-half, shortly before the unsavoury scenes.

Pepe Rancour