Sale 8 - 20 Leicester
Leicester continued Sale's agony as they won 20-8 in their last Premiership fixture before the break for Heineken Cup action
Entering this game with a woeful record of one point from their opening five matches, the Sharks could have hoped for an easier fixture to take them into the European break.
Leicester welcomed back Ben Youngs at scrum-half for his first start of the season, with George Ford completing the half-back partnership for his first start of the campaign.
Sale started well, with fullback Rob Miller gave Sharks the lead on seven minutes, diving over in the corner after fine work from Nick McLeod. The Sharks fly-half missed the conversion attempt from the touchline.
A McLeod penalty goal was sandwiched between two by Ford as the game entered the midway point in the first half, before Leicester's Vereniki Goneva was judged by referee Wayne Barnes to have deliberately knocked on, collecting the Tigers first yellow card of the season.
Ford kicked Leicester one point ahead three minutes into the second period, for an advantage they would keep for the rest of the game.
Youngs marked his return with a try in the corner, and although Ford missed his first kick of the night with the conversion attempt, he made up for it soon afterwards with a penalty to take the Tigers 17-8 up as the game entered the final quarter.
The introduction of 18 year old Nathan Fowles at scrum-half gave Sale fresh impetus, with quick ball coming the way of their back line.
But Leicester ended the game the stronger, as replacement Sale hooker Joe Ward was binned with seven minutes to play for throwing several punches at his opposite number Tom Youngs in the breakdown.
Ford's penalty kick confirmed the result, as Leicester cemented their place in the top four, with Sale looking at a battle for Premiership survival.