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Liverpool bring Premier League the distance; Beggan’s futile running upfield

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

The race for the Premier League title goes into the final day as Liverpool did what was required against Southampton with a weakened team to set up the ultimate finale. There are many permutations, but if Manchester City beat Aston Villa, they win the league. However, should City fail to win and Liverpool beat Wolves, they win the league. Keeping their hopes alive of returning to the Premier League are Liverpool's old 1970s rivals Nottingham Forest, who beat Sheffield United in a penalty shootout to reach the Championship playoff final in a game marred by crowd trouble. Authorities will be on the look out for bad behaviour in Seville as an estimated 100,000 Rangers fans descend on the Spanish city for the Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt tonight.

In his column today, Darragh Ó'Sé questions the wisdom of the new trend in Gaelic football of the goalkeeper joining the attack, looking at the case of Monaghan's Rory Beggan. "Conor McManus couldn't do for Monaghan what Beggan does. But Beggan does Monaghan no favours by trying to be Conor McManus." Dublin's Con O'Callaghan dismisses talk of a switch to hurling as "nonsense" as he says his appetite for football is still undiminished.

In today's Subscriber Only column, Gordon D'Arcy writes that having come tantalisingly close in recent years, this Leinster group has what it takes to win a fifth European Champions Cup. He writes: "Leinster have moved away from needing everything to go through Sexton and as a result are very difficult to read and defend. If I were to educate my younger self on how to play rugby it would currently be based on a combination of Gibson-Park, Lowe and Sexton." Good news for Leinster ahead of the final as La Rochelle's influential former All Blacks scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow will miss the showdown with Leinster due to a broken hand. In other injury news, Munster are likely to be without in-form Peter O'Mahony for their URC game against Leinster next Saturday.

It's Major time in golf as Rory McIlroy chases a third US PGA Championship this week at Southern Hills. A superstar grouping lies ahead for the Northern Irishman alongside Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, just the 22 majors between them in that group, as Shane Lowry is grouped with Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott. McIlroy likes what he finds in Tusla as he looks to end his Major drought. Meanwhile, car troubles keep Brooks Koepka in first gear as he tells of being locked out of his car – engine running, but the doors mysteriously locking with golf bag in the boot – as happened Tuesday as he prepared to head to Southern Hills for his practice.