Double trouble for layers after Manchester wins
IT was the perfect day for Manchester football with both United and City winning crucial fixtures and the majority of punters were left celebrating wilder than victorious bosses Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini as bookmakers were brought to their knees.
Bet365’s Steve Freeth called United’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford “one of the most expensive Premier League matches in the company’s history,” Hills Rupert Adams added: “We lost seven figures on the Manchester double, Robin van Persie was well backed to score the opener and the wincast with the Dutchman was also popular.”
Charlie McCann of BetVictor, who refunded numerous markets on the back of a red-card concession at the Emirates said it was a “nightmare” afternoon but Ferguson and Mancini will no doubt disagree.
The results meant the Manchester duo increased the gap on third-placed Chelsea and the Red Devils are 1-3 to take the title away from the champions, who are 7-2 to retain their crown in what is now surely a two-horse race.
If United go on to justify those odds then van Persie is going to the principle reason why Ferguson will once again get his hands on the Premier League trophy. The Dutchman grabbed his 17th league goal of the campaign and is evens with Coral for the Golden Boot again and 2-5 with Paddy Power to make it an individual double double by claiming the PFA Player of the Year award for the second season running.
Nemanja Vidic, who deflected Patrice Evra’s header past Pepe Reina (BetVictor and Hills settled on both players), put United two goals to the good and not even a late Liverpool rally could earn the Merseysiders a point despite substitute Daniel Sturridge halving the deficit.
At that stage United, who went ten points clear, were trading at 2-9 for the title before City reduced the lead back to seven points with their action-packed 2-0 success at Arsenal which saw both clubs reduced to ten men by referee Mike Dean.
Laurent Koscielny was given his marching orders after just nine minutes but Edin Dzeko missed the resulting penalty. However, it was always going to be a tough ask from that moment and goals from James Milner and Dzeko ended the match as a contest before the half-time interval.
City skipper Vincent Kompany was later dismissed for a perceived dangerous lunge on Jack Wilshere but City saw it out and Arsenal were left in sixth spot, six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand on their neighbours.
The Gunners are 5-4 to finish in the top four, while Liverpool are 18-1 in that particularly betting heat with Spurs and Everton 6-5 and 6-1 respectively.