The Sunday Morning Sports Briefing

Costa pays the price of indiscipline, United revival goes on, Lam’s Connacht impress, Leinster can kick it, Kilkenny potter Morris shocks Selby and it was raining goals in Boston

Diego Costa has missed enough Chelsea matches thanks to his dodgy hamstrings but the league leaders will miss him for Wednesday night's league game against Tottenham after he picked up a fifth yellow card of the season in the 0-0 draw away to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho defended the Spanish striker's physical approach that saw him appear to kick out at John O'Shea before picking up the card for catching Wes Brown with a flailing arm.

“Why do you speak all the time about Diego? I don’t agree, I don’t agree. I was just told that he was unlucky to get the yellow card,” was the Special One’s take.

Manchester United's revival continued with a third straight victory, Hull on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford that moved Louis van Gaal's side up to fourth spot, two points behind Manchester City, who take on second-placed Southampton this afternoon.


A brave headed goal from Glen Johnson helped Liverpool secure a 1-0 home win over Stoke City. Steven Gerrard came off the bench during the game, with Brendan Rodgers admitting afterwards that he hadn't realised that it was 16 years since the midfielder made his Liverpool debut.

Rodgers, though, insists that Gerrard’s work load will be monitored this season, saying: “Steven is in a part of his career when he is not going to play every minute of every game.”

Arsenal won away at West Brom, with Danny Welbeck scoring the winner in the 60th minute, while QPR won what already had the feel of a relegation six pointer against Leicester City at Loftus Road, thanks to Charlie Austin's 73rd-minute winner in a 3-2 win.

The Guinness Pro 12 action on Saturday saw Connacht equal their number of league wins from last year thanks to a 14-8 win over the Scarlets in Galway that left them four points clear of their opponents in sixth spot in the table, with the top six all guaranteed Champions Cup action next season.

Mils Muliaina continued his impressive start to his Connacht career, while Bundee Akee was a rock in midfield as Pat Lam’s side beat the Welsh visitors for the first time since 2011.

The fare at the RDS was far from vintage, but three penalties each from Ian Madigan and Jimmy Gopperth secured an 18-12 win for Leinster over the Ospreys. Jack Conan continued his fine form, with a man of the match performance at No 8 for Matt O'Connor's side.

The autumn internationals came to a close with Australia's poor tour finishing in a 26-17 defeat to England at Twickenham, while Wales finally ended their run off 22 defeats to the southern hemisphere big three with a 12-6 win over South Africa in Cardiff.

Arguably the performance of the day from an Irish sports star came at the UK Championship, where Kilkenny's David Morris beat world champion Mark Selby 6-4 in their second-round clash.

There was more goals than points in the All Star football exhibition match in Boston, with Dublin's Bernard Brogan scoring a hat-trick as the 2013 side beat the 2014 vintage on a scoreline of 10-7 to 5-5.

The big race of the day saw trainer Oliver Sherwood a second victory in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury with 8 to 1 shot Many Clouds.