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

15:00 TODAY

West Ham v Middlesbro

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Middlesbrough have failed to score in just one of their six league games
Expert verdict
West Ham’s defence has been woeful this season, with their 16 goals conceded the worst record in the Premier League, but they have scored in five of their six league outings. Middlesbrough were unbeaten in three matches at the outset, but have now lost three on the spin.

 

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