Late Robin rocket leaves United at 4-7 for title

DRAMATIC late turnarounds were the theme in all three of Sunday’s Premier League matches and the most important of those came at the Etihad where Manchester United went six points clear at the top and were cut from 10-11 to 4-7 to become champions.

Robin van Persie’s last-gasp free kick earned United a 3-2 success at Manchester City and the wild celebrations were justified in a result which, even at this early stage, may yet prove to be the difference in the race for the title.

The Dutchman’s delight was not shared by bookmakers, who were left shedding tears at another decisive moment for United. Ladbrokes said Van Persie cost them £200,000, while Betfred also reported dropping a six-figure sum and Hills were punished for offering evens about either team winning for a nine-minute period.

United’s victory saw bet365 quote 6-4 that the Red Devils, who led 2-0 at the break through a Wayne Rooney brace before City pulled level thanks to Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta goals,  don’t claim the title with Roberto Mancini’s champions pushed out to 9-4 from 11-8 to retain their crown.

BetVictor responded by making Mancini 4-1 in the market for the next Premier League manager to leave their current position but the Italian was in a bullish mood despite already seeing his team flop in Europe and crash out of the Capital One Cup at home to Aston Villa.

“We showed fantastic spirit,” said Mancini. “We are still strong and I am sure we can win the double.” BetVictor offer 16-1 that City can win the FA Cup and Premier League but Hills go 1-2 that they finish with no trophies.

Everton were matched at 200 (and £2 at 390) on Betfair to beat Tottenham and they did just that with injury-time goals from Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic earning the hosts a 2-1 triumph at Goodison Park.

The Toffees are up to fourth and 5-1 to finish the season in that position, while Spurs are 6-4 to recover from their desperate defeat to claim a spot which is usually good enough to qualify for the Champions League.

It was a good day for Merseyside teams with Liverpool also coming from behind to beat West Ham 3-2 at Upton Park to move up to tenth in the Premier League, only four points off their Stanley Park rivals.

Former Hammers Glen Johnson and Joe Cole were on target for Liverpool and a James Collins own goal earned a Liverpool side missing top scorer Luis Suarez their third straight success, leapfrogging West Ham in a congested middle-order in the process.

Match in Focus

11:35 Th 22Mar BBC1

China v Wales

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • China failed to win both of their 2017 China Cup games
Expert verdict
Ryan Giggs takes charge for the first time as Wales manager when they face the hosts in the China Cup and the Manchester United legend will be delighted to have the services of talisman Gareth Bale. His presence is a huge boost for Giggs in his bid to get off to a winning start and his team should be able to secure a victory.



Whether it's the Johnstone's Paint Trophy or the Champions League, Soccerbase will ensure you don't experience a big cup upset


Agonising over Aberdeen?
Yearning for Yeovil? Our database is crammed with every football club you could possibly wish for


A plethora of players ranging from Adebayor to Zamora. All you need to know to find out who is the best bet to score next


Card-happy control freak?
Astute arbiter? Make the right decision on any referee with the help of our specialist pages


From Allardyce to Zola, our massive manager database, with histories and win ratios, is sure to get your vote of confidence