Imperious, invincible Dubs go four-in-a-row, Man United steady ship at Burnley

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

Dublin’s James McCarthy with Sam Maguire. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin’s James McCarthy with Sam Maguire. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Irrepressible, invincible, immortal. Dublin are All-Ireland SFC champions for a fourth consecutive time after they beat Tyrone 2-17 to 1-14 in Croke Park yesterday afternoon. An upset had seemed a distinct possibility when Mickey Harte’s side raced into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead after 17 minutes - but after Paul Mannion rifled home a 22nd minute penalty and the Dubs reeled off 1-3 in three minutes, Jim Gavin’s side eased home at a canter. It was an imperious performance from the defending champions, who weathered the early storm before pulling clear in style, and as Keith Duggan writes, they are unlikely to stop at number four: “Right now, raising the Sam Maguire has become part of the city calendar. They are out there, splendid and fearsome, all on their own. History beckons.” Meanwhile Kevin McStay suggests that despite Tyrone’s strong start, the result was never really in doubt: “In truth, Dublin never looked like losing.” And for all of the challengers’ early bluster, all it took was three poor kick outs and a silly free to turn the tide, Malachy Clerkin writes: “This is what the Dubs do. They are divining rods for errors and weaknesses. Masters of taking a mile from the given inch.” After the game Gavin was typically brief but praised the character of his side for not blinking when under pressure in the first half, while Ian O’Riordan monitored the performance of Brian Fenton, who had a monster game as he secured his fourth All-Ireland title at the age of 25.

Manchester United and Jose Mourinho steadied the ship slightly yesterday as they beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor thanks to a brace from Romelu Lukaku. It was not all plain sailing however as Paul Pogba missed a penalty and Marcus Rashford was shown a straight red card - while a plane, organised by supporters, flew a banner protesting against chief executive Ed Woodward above the ground before kick-off. Elsewhere Watford came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 and maintain their 100 per cent record, while Arsenal beat Cardiff City 3-2 away from home, giving Unai Emery his first win on the road. Meanwhile in his column today Ken Early has looked at Declan Rice’s apparent U-turn over playing for Ireland: “The truth is that footballers don’t need to be patriots to care about winning matches with their national teams, any more than they need to have supported their club sides as children to care about winning matches for them.”

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