Betting Week in Review: Premier League Shocker Saturday
The Premier League is the main focus in our betting week in review, with Saturday producing plenty of surprises. Everton finally won at Anfield, their first win there for 22 years. Chelsea lost ground in the title race, only managing a draw with struggling Southampton.
Everton Stun the Champions at Anfield
On Saturday, the Merseyside derby produced the weekend’s biggest shock, with Everton winning 2-0 against their local rivals Liverpool at Anfield. It was a first win for the Toffees at Liverpool’s home since 1999, ending 22 years of hurt for their long-suffering fans.
An early goal from Richarlison after three minutes gave Everton the perfect start. The 23-year-old latched onto a great pinpoint pass from James Rodriguez, which Richarlison ran onto with his great pace before unleashing a composed finish that beat Allison.
Liverpool almost equalised soon after; a Jodan Henderson shot from distance that was hit on the volley needed a save from Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.
Much has been made of Pickford’s opposite number in goal, Allison Becker. Blunders in recent games against Leicester City and Manchester City had gifted three goals to the opposition. The Brazillian partially atoned for these mistakes, saving well from a diving header from defender Séamus Coleman.
For much of the game, the goalkeepers kept the scoreline the same; Jordan Pickford made a point-blank save from Mohamed Salah’s feet, the league’s top scorer.
The game swung in Everton’s favour with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s introduction on 59 minutes and Everton’s main goal threat of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who came onto the pitch on 62 minutes.
In the 83rd minute, goalscorer Richarlison turned his man brilliantly near the halfway line and sprinted into space before releasing the ball into the path of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who took on the shot. Allison initially parried Calvert-Lewin’s first shot, and as the England international attempted a follow-up shot, he tangled with Trent Alexander-Arnold and was awarded the spot-kick.
Gylfi Sigurdsson was the calmest man at Anfield, showing no nerves as he placed a perfectly taken penalty that found the bottom corner. Allison had guessed the right way but was unable to stop the shot.
Everton’s delight at the final whistle was evident, consigning their greatest rivals to a fourth straight home defeat, the first time this has happened to Liverpool since 1923. It was also a result that ensured Liverpool took the unwanted title of the worst title defence in Premier League history after 25 games. Liverpool’s swing of -33 points edges out Leicester’s defence in 2017 (-32) and Chelsea in 2016 (-29).
Everton’s odds of 9/1 for the win were the biggest return of the Premier League weekend. Liverpool had been priced @1/3 with the draw at 6/1. Great news for bookmakers and, of course, anyone who backed the Everton win.
The Saints Secure Heavenly Point
After Everton’s win, the other big surprise, at least odds-wise, was Southampton’s 1-1 draw with in-form Chelsea. Southampton had been on an awful run of form. Since a surprise 1-0 home win on the 4th of January against champions Liverpool, the Saints then lost their next six games in-a-row.
Loses against Leicester (2-0), Arsenal (1-3) and Aston Villa (0-1) were followed by a 9-0 humiliating defeat against Manchester United. A Premier League record-equalling loss, matching the club’s defeat against Leicester last season. Further defeats against strugglers Newcastle (3-2) and Wolves (1-2) meant going into the clash with Chelsea, Southampton were priced @ 4/1, Chelsea @ 8/10 and the draw @3/1.
Their opponents Chelsea, under new manager Thomas Tuchel, were on a good run. Since suffering defeat against Leicester in January under previous manager Frank Lampard, Chelsea was unbeaten in five. They drew their first game with Wolves (0-0), then won their next four games against Burnley (2-0), Tottenham (0-1), Sheffield United (1-2) and Newcastle United (2-0).
In the 1-1 draw, Southampton took a surprise lead against the run of play in the 33rd minute. Nathan Redmond played a perfect pass into the path of Takumi Minamino, and the on-loan striker raced clear of the Chelsea defence before slotting his shot beyond Edouard Mendy. The 26-year-old has struggled for game-time at Liverpool but has scored two in three games for the Saints.
Chelsea equalised after a penalty was awarded after a rash challenge by Danny Ings on Mason Mount in the box. Mount took the kick and sent Alex McCarthy the wrong way.
Southampton had two good chances to take all three points, Jannik Vestergaard hit the crossbar, and Danny Ings had the chance to make amends for conceding the penalty, but his follow-up from Vestergaard’s header only found the side netting.
The result means Southampton are in 13th with 30 points and Chelsea are in 4th place on 43 points, thirteen points behind the league leaders.
The Hammers Nail Tottenham
All the games in the Premier League on Sunday went with the form book, and that included a win for David Moyes’s West Ham against local rivals Tottenham. Since losing to Liverpool at the end of January, the Hammers beat Aston Villa (1-3), drew with Fulham (0-0) and beat Sheffield United (3-0). Tottenham had just one win in five (2-0 West Bromwich), losing against Liverpool (3-1), Brighton (1-0), Chelsea (0-1) and Manchester City (3-0).
The impressive Michail Antonio gave West Ham the lead in the 5th minute, taking advantage of Hugo Lloris’s attempt to clear Jarrod Bowen’s cross. Jesse Lingard doubled the lead two minutes after the break, the Manchester United man continuing his fine run by scoring his third goal in four games. Gareth Bale was introduced in the second half, and his pass set up Lucas Moura to half the deficit in the 64th minute. Tottenham had chances to equalise, both Bale and Son Heung-min hit the post but West Ham held on for their seventh win in nine and moved in front of Chelsea into 4th. Tottenham remains in ninth, nine points behind West Ham and twenty-five points behind the leaders.
In other games on Sunday, Leicester started on fire, scoring two goals within 23 minutes in their 2-1 win against Aston Villa. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes staking their place for an England call-up with goals. Villa, without Jack Grealish, pulled one back in the 48th minute, but Leicester controlled the game well to see out the win.
Manchester City continued their incredible run; their 1-0 win at the Emirates against Arsenal was Pep Guardiola’s eighteenth win in a row. A solitary goal, scored by Raheem Sterling in the 2nd minute was enough to separate the sides. City is chasing the record of 29 victories, set by Benfica between 1971 and 1973.
In Sunday’s late game, Manchester United ensured they remained in second place by beating Newcastle United 3-1 at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford scored in the 30th minute before the impressive Allan Saint-Maximin scored a deserved equaliser six minutes later. Daniel James re-established the lead in the second half before Bruno Fernandes made sure of the points with a penalty in the 75th minute. United are level on points with Leicester on 49 points, ten behind City at the top with 13 games left to play.