United take advantage of shock results

THE underdogs had their day with a remarkable set of Premier League results which saw Manchester United extend their advantage at the top with a crazy 4-3 victory at Reading, while all their major rivals dropped crucial points.

“It’s our best day in a long while,” said Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Donohue after Arsenal lost 2-0 at home to Swansea, Chelsea were turned over  3-1 at West Ham and Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at the Etihad.

Two late goals from Michu led Swansea, who had been 7-1, to a famous success at the Emirates. That left the Gunners slumped in tenth place in the table and their manager Arsene Wenger facing one of the most difficult periods in his long reign at the club.

Wenger is 4-1 with Ladbrokes not to last the season, although Arsenal are 8-11 with the same firm to finish in the top four and evens to miss out on the coveted spots for the first time with Wenger at the helm.

While Arsenal fans debate Wenger’s future, most Chelsea supporters are in no doubt they’ve got the wrong manager and BetVictor slashed Rafael Benitez from 16-1 to 6-1 to be the next Premier League manager to leave his position following the reverse at Upton Park.

Benitez has collected just two points from a possible nine since replacing popular Roberto Di Matteo and Hills go 6-4 that he is still at Stamford Bridge for the start of next season, while Ladbrokes make the former Liverpool boss only 12-1 to have been axed from the post before Christmas.

Fernando Torres’ drought continued even though he set up Juan Mata’s opener and Ladbrokes quote him at 9-4 to depart in January, while Chelsea are 16-1 to win the title as second-half goals from Carlton Cole, Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga helped West Ham to a great win.

Chelsea are ten points behind United, who were 4-3 winners at Reading. It was 3-3 inside 30 minutes of a truly bonkers half of a game that United eventually won with Wayne Rooney (twice), Robin van Persie and Anderson on target for the Red Devils. United are 5-6 with Hills and Boylesports to claim title success.

City needed a penalty from Carlos Tevez to cancel out Marouane Fellaini’s opener and Roberto Mancini’s champions head into the Manchester derby as 11-8 pokes to retain their crown.

Tottenham are up to fourth after winning their Premier League game in a week with a 3-0 London derby success at Fulham.

Sandro set Spurs on their way before Jermain Defoe grabbed a couple of late goals and Andre Villas-Boas’ team went above West Ham, who lost 1-0 to Stoke.

QPR remain bottom and are 4-6 to be relegated after Harry Redknapp’s first home match in charge ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw with Aston Villa and Southampton are also in the danger zone following a 1-0 loss at Liverpool with Daniel Agger scoring the only goal of the game.

Shock results were not just confined to the Premier League and 1-10 pokes Celtic were held to a 1-1 home draw by Arbroath in the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Match in Focus

19:30 TODAY BT3

Hoffenheim v Hannover

Home Win Draw Away Win
Expert verdict
These are two sides going in different directions. Hoffenheim are making an assault on a Champions League spot after five wins and two draws in their last seven. They’ve scored 22 goals in those games, while Hannover, in contrast, have won just two of their last 13 and face being blown away by the top-four chasing hosts.



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