Spurs edge past Everton, Ireland’s clubs have a key role to play in rugby’s return

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

Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti embrace after Tottenham’s win over Everton. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/EPA

Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti embrace after Tottenham’s win over Everton. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/EPA

It wasn’t always pretty, but José Mourinho’s Tottenham ground their way to a much-needed three points as they beat Everton 1-0 in north London last night. A first-half own goal from Michael Keane was enough to give Spurs victory and move them up to eighth in the table, a point behind rivals Arsenal. Tempers flared at half-time between Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min - an incident Mourinho later called “beautiful.” The Portuguese, who recorded his 200th Premier League win as a manager, said: “I don’t like a team without communication. Probably what happened today at half-time shouldn’t happen there, it should happen just inside the dressing room, but I can promise you that my winning teams, we had big fights in the team.” Tonight there are a further three top flight fixtures, as Crystal Palace welcome Chelsea to Selhurst Park and Norwich travel to Watford (both 6pm), before Arsenal take on Leicester at the Emirates (8.15pm).

In this morning’s rugby column John O’Sullivan has looked at the vital part Ireland’s clubs will have to play if the sport is to make a successful return from the coronavirus crisis. A return to club action is scheduled for September, and with a congested calendar expected at provincial and international level, Division 1A and 1B of the All-Ireland League could provide a vital competitive outlet for both academy players and senior pros. He writes: “Irish rugby needs a vibrant club game to continue to produce quality in depth with an eye to replenishing the demands of provincial and national interests and their playing requirements, arguably never more so than now given travel restrictions and other issues thrown up by the pandemic.”

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