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

19:30 TODAY BT1

Holstein Kiel v Wolfsburg

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Holstein Kiel have not kept a clean sheet in their last five matches
Expert verdict
Bundesliga strugglers Wolfsburg are taking part in the promotion/relegation playoff for a second successive season but they hold a 3-1 lead after the home leg against Holstein Kiel and can finish the job successfully. Holstein are the top scorers in the Bundesliga 2 but their defence is far from perfect and may let them down again. Wolfsburg posted nine shots on target on Thursday and could be just as dangerous in the second leg, with the home side under pressure to take risks.



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