Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Watford and Chelsea had to be content with a share of the spoils in the Barclays Premier League after playing out a goalless draw at Vicarage Road, while Everton beat Newcastle 3-0 at Goodison Park.
Watford enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes at Vicarage Road and, although Chelsea hit back after the break, they couldn't find a way past Hornets goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes who made a number of good saves to earn his side a point.
The home side knew that a win would lift them up to seventh place in the table, while the visitors were keen to extend their decent run of form which had seen them go nine games unbeaten, seven in the league, since Guus Hiddink took over as interim manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December.
After a quiet opening quarter, Watford began to assert a measure of control and carved out a series of chances in quick succession.
The first saw Jose Holebas pick out Odion Ighalo six yards out, but the striker badly mistimed his header and the ball bounced harmlessly wide.
Sebastian Prodl headed straight at Thibaut Courtois moments later, before the the Belgian international was called into action again to beat away Etienne Capoue's shot.
At the other end, Diego Costa was narrowly off target with a snap shot after latching onto Oscar's ball over the top.
The Spanish international striker, no stranger to controversy, was booked along with Hornets defender Juan Carlos Paredes for a storm-in-a-teacup off-the-ball incident just before the break, but the game remained goalless at half-time.
Gomes was called into action immediately after the restart to tip over Jon Obi Mikel's deflected effort, before Troy Deeney volleyed narrowly wide from just outside the box.
A good move down the left ended with Holebas shooting into the side netting from a tight angle shortly afterwards.
Chances were at a premium for long spells after that, although Gomes had to react quickly to keep out Nemanja Matic's shot after good work from Willian down the right.
Chelsea began to put the home defence under increasing pressure in the final ten minutes.
Costa came agonisingly close to getting a telling touch to Eden Hazard's cross to the far post before Gomes produced a superb one-handed save to deny the Spaniard whose header looked destined for the top corner.
The home side were hanging on somewhat at the end but they had done enough to earn themselves a point which sees them up to ninth in the table, while Chelsea climb above West Brom into thirteenth.
In the other Premier League game played tonight, Everton moved up to ninth after beating Newcastle 3-0 at Goodison Park.
A first-half Aaron Lennon strike added to two late penalties from Ross Barkley sealed victory for Roberto Martinez's side and ensured that Newcastle remain firmly rooted in the relegation zone.
After a high tempo opening in which there were chances at both ends, Lennon put Everton ahead on 23 minutes when he collected Tom Cleverley's pass before turning and shooting past a wrong-footed Rob Elliot.
The Toffees might have been two up ten minutes before the break as Elliot rushed out of his penalty area to head away a long punt up field. The ball fell to Barkley but the midfielder was unable to direct his shot accurately into the unguarded net and Newcastle survived.
Elliot was called into action again early in the second half as he acrobatically tipped Barkley's curling shot onto the crossbar.
The Magpies goalkeeper combined with the woodwork to deny Everton twice more over the next few minutes as he first got a touch to Jonjo Shelvey's misdirected header to push the ball onto the crossbar before doing the same thing to a Cleverley free-kick as the home side looked to give themselves some breathing space.
They were almost made to pay on 66 minutes when Aleksandar Mitrovic volleyed wide from 12 yards with the goal at his mercy after the Everton defence had failed to deal with Moussa Sissokho's cross.
But the points were secured two minutes from time after Everton were awarded a penalty after substitute Roland Aarons fouled Lennon in the box and Barkley duly converted the spot kick to make it 2-0.
And it was 3-0 in the fourth minute of stoppage time as Barkley converted his second penalty of the night, this one a cheeky Panenka-like chip down the middle, after being fouled by Jamaal Lascelles who was shown a red card for his troubles.
By: Kieran O'Daly