Liverpool come out on top after dramatic night; Gordon D’Arcy on identity of women’s rugby

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Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores his side’s third goal during the Champions League win over Atlético Madrid. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores his side’s third goal during the Champions League win over Atlético Madrid. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

It was a dramatic night in Madrid yesterday as Liverpool came away from the Estadio Metropolitano with all three points against Atlético Madrid who had Antoine Griezmann sent off and were also denied a penalty by VAR. A brace from Mo Salah and a stunning volley from Naby Keita did the damage for Jürgen Klopp’s side alsthough the German said afterwards that he was disappointed with how they had “completely mismanaged” their 2-0 lead. The win leaves Liverpool top of Group B with nine points with Atlético five behind. Elsewhere, Manchester City battered Club Brugge in Belgium while Lionel Messi’s Panenka penalty sealed a victory for PSG over RB Leipzig. Tonight Manchester United welcome Atalanta to Old Trafford in a crucial group game which will hold a lot of bearing not only on their last-16 hopes but also on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s long-term job prospects. In the women’s game, Ireland star Leanne Kiernan has spent a lot of time out of the game recently with shin splints but this morning she tells Gavin Cummiskey that “sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forwards.”

On to rugby and Gordon D’Arcy writes in his column this morning that women’s rugby must develop its own identity and not simply follow the men’s model. After Ireland’s recent failure to qualify for the World Cup questions have been asked of whether the right structures are in place in the country with a seeming disconnect between the top-level international game and the club game. “Without a vibrant club game consistent success at international level is unattainable. If professionalism or semi-professionalism is part of a future for women’s rugby in Ireland, then players need to be developed at an earlier age,” D’Arcy writes. This afternoon Andy Farrell will name his Ireland squad for the November internationals and Gerry Thornley believes the head coach has plenty to ponder with a number of frontliners barely playing so far this season after the Lions tour.

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