Ireland made it back-to-back Six Nations wins yesterday, as they squeezed past Scotland with a 27-24 victory at Murrayfield. It was a physical affair in Edinburgh, with Andy Farrell’s side taking an imposing 24-10 lead in the second-half. The Scots then fought back to level the scores, with Hamish Watson forcing his way over the Irish line on 74 minutes. However, Ireland were quickly back up the other end of the pitch and won a 77th-minute penalty, which captain Johnny Sexton nailed from the left flank to secure a fraught victory. Afterwards, Farrell paid tribute to his skipper: “There was a few walking wounded. To be fair to Johnny, he was cramping in that last five or 10 minutes as well, to step up to the plate and kick a goal in that sort of state makes the three points even better.” Warren Gatland was in attendance at Murrayfield, and Sexton’s performance opposite Finn Russell will have done no harm to his hopes of claiming the Lions 10 jersey again this summer, writes Gavin Cummiskey. Ireland’s win leaves them in second place in the Six Nations table – albeit having played a game more than both Scotland and France. They meet England in Dublin next Saturday – a fixture which looks particularly daunting after Eddie Jones’s side ended France’s Grand Slam dream at Twickenham on Saturday.
Manchester United extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 13 games yesterday, as they beat West Ham 1-0 at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury-hit side had to bide their time against the top-four chasing Hammers, with David Moyes adopting a very defensive approach on the road. They broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute through a Craig Dawson own goal from a Bruno Fernandes corner, which was enough to secure three points ahead of a big week in both Europe and the FA Cup. Earlier in the day Arsenal came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 in the north London derby at the Emirates. Spurs had taken the lead through Erik Lamela’s audacious rabona, but the Argentine was later sent off after Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette had helped the 10th-place Gunners come from behind. And in his column this morning, Ken Early has suggested Mikel Arteta looks more likely to deliver long-term success at Arsenal than Jose Mourinho does at Spurs. In the day’s other games, Sheffield United’s first game without Chris Wilder saw them handed a 5-0 thrashing by Leicester City, while Brighton ended their luckless run with a 2-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s. There’s one top flight fixture tonight, with eighth-place Liverpool travelling to Wolves (kick-off 8pm).