Munster had to settle for a losing bonus point as they let a late lead slip in an enthralling Champions Cup battle with Racing 92 in the U Arena in Paris.

Conor Murray’s long-distance penalty put the visitors two points ahead with five minutes to play but straight from the restart former Munster man Donnacha Ryan won a penalty, which Maxime Machenaud slotted over. 

They still lead Pool 4 and a win over Castres at home next week will guarantee qualification as they hold a better head-to-head and try-scoring record against Racing. 

But the battle to secure a home quarter-final has been made more difficult with the late slip-up. 

In a thrilling game under the closed roof at Racing's new Parisian home, the lead changed hands no fewer than four times in the second half in the first Champions Cup match played at the venue.

Johann van Graan's men again performed poorly on the discipline front, giving up eight of a total of 11 in the first half. 

That stat may have been glossed over had two penalties not hit the woodwork in the opening period, after which they trailed 13-7 due to an early Yannick Nyanga try and two kicks from Machenaud.

Jean Kleyn got Munster's first try in the 21st minute as they grew into the game but couldn't find their stride after repeated and avoidable infringements. 

Racing repeated the trick at the start of the second half when Marc Andreu touched down in the corner. 

But that spurred Munster into gear and they enjoyed their best spell of the game, adding 14 points in a six-minute period. 

Ireland winger Keith Earls started and finished a move that will be a try-of-the-season contender before Chris Farrell barrelled over from close range to put the two-time winners 21-18 ahead. 

The lead didn't last long, however, as Machenaud again found the distance from a penalty.  

Munster responded with two Ian Keatley kicks as the pendulum swung again. 

In a flash it swung back. Dimitri Szarzewski and Nyanga pulled off a quick one-two at a lineout and when Munster awoke they found find themselves behind again. 

Then Murray stepped up with his third effort from distance, this time successful. 

All Munster had to do was hold on but Ryan got himself in the mix as they attempted to retrieve the restart and the Top 14 side's captain kicked his fourth three-pointer when Stephen Archer was penalised for popping out of a scrum on 54 minutes.

A poor clearance from Keatley then handed Racing a chance to pull clear and deny Munster even a losing point but Machenaud, who landed seven of eight attempts, decided to take the points when a converted try would have pushed the margin to eight points. 

Racing 92: Louis Dupichot; Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Henry Chavancy, Marc Andreu; Rémi Tales, Maxime Machenaud (capt); Eddy Ben Arous, Camille Chat, Ben Tameifuna; Donnacha Ryan, Edwin Maka; Yannick Nyanga, Wenceslas Lauret, Leone Nakarawa.

Replacements: Cedate Gomes Sa for Tameifuna, Boris Palu for Maka (both 47 mins), Dimitri Szarzewski for Chat, Vasil Kakovin for Ben Arous (both 52 mins), Joe Rokocoko for Dupichot (73 mins), Baptiste Chouzenoux for Lauret (75 mins). Not used: Xavier Chauveau, Benjamin Dambielle.

Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (capt), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Jack O’Donoghue for O’Mahony (55 mins), James Cronin for Kilcoyne, John Ryan for Archer (both 56 mins), Alex Wootton for Zebo (73 mins), JJ Hanrahan for Keatley (78 mins), Kevin O’Byrne fo Marshall (75 mins). Not used: Darren O’Shea.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England).