Josh van der Flier key to Leinster’s hopes; Liverpool make it six from six

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

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores his side’s first goal of the game during the Champions League win over Milan. Photo: Fabrizio Carabelli/PA Wire

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores his side’s first goal of the game during the Champions League win over Milan. Photo: Fabrizio Carabelli/PA Wire

After Scarlets yesterday forfeited their opening Champions Cup match to Bristol due to the vast majority of their players remaining in quarantine, Munster moved quickly to confirm that they will play their match against Wasps after registering 22 new players. Leinster are also gearing up for their opener against Bath and this morning Gerry Thornley speaks to Josh van der Flier about his development as a dangerous ball carrier, adding another element to his already impressive CV. “I take different things from different people and then I try and visualise doing that myself and then hopefully it translates into training and games,” he says. Also speaking yesterday was Ronan O’Gara who will lead his La Rochelle team into battle with Glasgow this weekend. The re-formatted competition looks to suit the French teams a bit better than anyone else and O’Gara wants his team to adopt a “kill or be killed” approach.

Moving to soccer and Liverpool last night became the first English team ever to complete a clean sweep of six wins in the Champions League group stages when they beat AC Milan at the San Siro. The result saw the Italians finish bottom of the group and afterwards Jurgen Klopp spoke of his pride at seeing his team do what no English team has done before. Elsewhere, Manchester City were beaten by RB Leipzig as Kyle Walker saw red but it mattered little as Pep Guardiola’s side had already qualified for the knockout stages. Tonight Barcelona are under pressure to book their place in the last-16 as they need a win against Bayern Munich to guarantee progress, but a draw will be enough if Benfica fail to beat Dynamo Kiev. Also tonight Manchester United face Young Boys at Old Trafford after Ralf Rangnick recruited Sascha Lense to be the club’s first sports psychologist for two decades.

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