Steven Naismith of Everton celebrates scoring their third goal against  Queens Park Rangers at Goodison Park. Photograph:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton 3 QPR 1Everton turned their final home game before Christmas into a yuletide celebration with a Salvation Army brass band playing carols at ha(...)

Didier Drogba celebrates after scoring Chelsea’s second during their 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge last night.
The Morning Sports Briefing
  • Sport
  • December 4, 2014, 08:38

Chelsea march onThe last time Tottenham Hotspur managed a win at Stamford Bridge was the same day it was announced Nelson Mandela would be released fr(...)

Ireland Manager Martin O’Neill and his backroom team. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Having regularly bemoaned the lengthy periods of inactivity through his first few months in the job and itched to get going on the competitive front, (...)

The  Republic of Ireland’s James McClean scores  his side’s third goal against the USA at the  Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo:   Brian Lawless/PA

A comprehensive victory that should alleviate some of the pain from last Friday’s defeat in Glasgow.We need to start with Robbie Brady’s excellent dis(...)

Anthony Pinlkington dinks the ball over an onrushing Hamid for Ireland’s opener against the USA at the Aviva Stadium tonight

Ireland 4 USA 1 23 Shay Given 7/10 Aston Villa One early tip away, vital 80th minute save and spread himself for Chris Wondolowski’s ch(...)

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill: still looking to impose a discernible  system on the side. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Tonight’s game is overshadowed by the lingering disappointment of Friday’s loss in Scotland. Poland’s very comfortable win in Georgia, which put them (...)

Alex Pearce and Stephen Quinn during Ireland’s training session in Malahide. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho 4:49

Amid all the talk of distractions, tonight’s game against the USA somehow seems like one itself. It will doubtless be a welcome one, though, to Martin(...)

Shane Long reacts to a missed chance at Celtic Park last night. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

No excuses. Scotland were the better team, creating more chances, while Ireland lacked the intent to leave Glasgow with what would have been a valuabl(...)

Richard Keogh heads the ball clear during last night’s European Championship qualifying match at Celtic Park in Glasgow. Photograph: AFP/Ian MacNicol

The day before the match, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan had promised Celtic Park would become Scotland Park for the night. For the first few minute(...)

 Referee Milorad Mazic speaks to Roy Keane, assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland, during the EURO 2016 Group D qualifier  at Celtic Park. Photograph:  Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

We knew the day had to come, but still, it didn’t stop us dreading it. Finally, management decided, for this encounter at least, and with the natur(...)