Subscriber OnlySport

Liverpool remain unstoppable; Leicester pose formidable test for Leinster

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

Liverpool’s forward Luis Diaz celebrates after beating Villarreal in the Champions League. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty

A slight scare for Liverpool in the Champions League but their quest to win every major tournament they've entered this season continues into May as they reached the final of the Champions League after a 3-2 victory over Villarreal last night. Mary Hannigan writes the Yellow Submarine were no match for Red wave as the tide turned in the second half. "Drunk on success, this lot. No end to it," she writes.

Tonight it's the turn of Manchester City as star midfield Kevin De Bruyne says they must win the Champions League to change the perception of the club despite their recent domestic domination. They go to the Bernabeu to face 13-time winners Real Madrid tonight, with a one-goal lead from the first leg.

"Hungry" Leinster are heading for Leicester knowing they need to be patient for the Champions Cup quarter-final at Welford Road on Saturday. In the Subscriber Only piece today, Gordon D'Arcy writes Leicester are close to reclaiming that old aura of menace, as Steve Borthwick is reinstalling that old element of hardness in his side. Leicester are a well-drilled, co-ordinated side, high on confidence and with the tools to win this game if Leinster aren't at their best. D'Arcy says Leinster must drive George Ford deep into the pocket, where he is considerably less influential.

Meanwhile, Damian de Allende says he will leave Munster with lots of happy memories as he praises the crowds of Thomond Park, giving the fans the ultimate compliment for their support: "I've never played at a club where I've gone to an away game and there's been more supporters from the away team".


Darragh O'Sé is bullish about Kerry's chances in the championship, saying Jack O'Connor's side are stronger than ever, writing "even the cutest Kerryman would struggle to yerra his way out of something that obvious. It wasn't just the fact that they won the league that was impressive. It was the way they did it." They play Cork this Saturday in the Munster Championship.

Provincially, Ulster stands alone in terms of competitiveness though, it once again defies all predictions. No one expected a previously underwhelming Derry to take down All-Ireland winners Tyrone, writes Seán Moran. Down were well-beaten by Monaghan in Ulster at the weekend and the trials of their inter-county team are shown by Eugene Branagan and most Kilcoo team-mates, who don't want to be stars of the county Down. "I just have honestly no ambition to play for Down and I don't mind saying that," Branagan says.