Chelsea held by Burnley; Leinster and Saracens a cut above the rest

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Chelsea failed to capitalise on Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham’s defeats over the weekend as they drew with Burnley last night. Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick scored the opener in a 2-2 draw - a win would’ve moved Chelsea into third spot. Tonight Spurs host Brighton and will look to give themselves some breathing space as the battle for the top four goes to the wire, they’re ahead of Chelsea on goal difference with a game in hand.

In his column this morning, Gerry Thornley explains why Leinster and Saracens are a cut above the rest: “So the two sides arrive in Newcastle pretty much at the zenith of their considerable powers. These are, as one writer noted, more efficient than effervescent, and while it may not be the most fluent final ever, it is sure to be a compelling clash between two superbly coached teams who like to dominate their opponents but for once may struggle to do so.” Munster head coach Johann van Graan says he will not take a chance with the fitness of Joey Carbery or Keith Earls as his team bid for a home semi-final in the Pro14. To have any chance of topping Conference A in the league and securing a last-four tie at Thomond Park, Munster must beat Connacht on Saturday, and hope that Edinburgh can deny current leaders Glasgow Warriors in their last game.

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