PARIS: Edinson Cavani was apparently sent off for his trademark gun celebration and subsequent dissent as the French champions Paris Saint-Germain beat Lens 3-1.

The Uruguayan was booked after bending on one knee and firing an imaginary shot. He reacted by pulling at the arm of referee Nicolas Rainville who then showed the red card.

PSG president Nasser Al Khelafi said the 27-year-old “did not deserve” to be dismissed. He told Canal Plus television: “Why did he get the yellow card before? He always celebrates the same way.”

Cavani, a keen hunter signed from Napoli for £55m in July 2013, performed his usual celebration after scoring a 55th-minute penalty to give PSG a 3-1 lead.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc said: “I’m not going to make any comment about the refereeing. It’s a difficult game to analyse.”

Adama Coulibaly’s 20-yard shot had put Lens ahead but former Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye equalised. Maxwell gave PSG the lead with a lob before Jean-Philippe Gbamin was sent off for pushing Cavani in the penalty area.

Lens also had Jerome Le Moigne sent off just before the hour in a game played at the Stade de France because Lens’s Bollaert stadium is being renovated. Victory moved PSG above Bordeaux into second in Ligue 1, four points behind Marseille, who have a game in hand.