Weekend Review: Europe seal Ryder Cup victory as Manchester have a mare
Europe regained the Ryder Cup in Rome as both Manchester clubs lost in the same week for the first time in a decade
It was an unfortunate weekend for the punters in the Premier League as several fixtures swung the way of the layers.
The action kicked off with Aston Villa (7/5) drubbing Brighton (17/10) 6-1 in the early kick-off, which set in motion a wild gameweek.
Then, in the 3pm kick-offs, Manchester City’s (2/7) 100% start to the season was brought to a halt away at Wolves (7/1), who, thanks to goals from Pedro Neto and Hwang Hee-Chan, defeated the Citizens 2-1.
The other side of Manchester didn’t fair any better as a Joachim Andersen’s wonder-strike was enough to give Crystal Palace (5/1) victory over Manchester United (11/20) at Old Trafford, as the Reds’ torrid start continued.
This was the first time both Manchester clubs had lost at the same time since September 2013, when City lost 3-2 to Villa and United went down 2-1 to West Brom.
The day’s drama continued at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Ange Postecoglu’s side edged out a narrow 2-1 victory over nine-man Liverpool (6/5).
Liverpool were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half after VAR intervened on a Curtis Jones tackle on Yves Bissouma, which saw referee Simon Hooper upgrade the youngster’s yellow card to a red.
The controversy did not end there, after Luis Diaz seemingly gave the Reds the lead before VAR inexplicably decided the forward was offside during the buildup.
Similarly, Spurs (2/1) did not stand on ceremony as captain Son Heung-Min gave his side the lead before Cody Gakpo equalised in stoppage time, injuring himself in the process. His replacement, Diogo Jota, was given his marching orders with 20 minutes to go after two quick fouls on Destiny Udogie.
In the dying seconds of the game, Joel Matip turned a Pedro Porro cross into his own net to send Spurs second and end Liverpool’s 17-game unbeaten run.
Betway’s Chad Yeomans said: “There were some great football results for the layers over the weekend with early losses for United and City; however, the real drama was yet to come. In the weekend’s showpiece fixture between Spurs and Liverpool, all the headlines once again were about the VAR system.
“Its failure to overturn an incorrect decision to disallow a Luis Diaz goal for offside ultimately contributed to a first league loss of the season for the Reds and ensured a positive day for the books,” he added.
There was also a first league win of the season for Luton Town (9/2) over Everton (3/5), as well as routine wins for Arsenal (1/2), Newcastle (2/5) and West Ham (2/5). The solitary Sunday game saw Nottingham Forest (8/5) and Brentford (7/4) share the points in a 1-1 draw.
Betfred’s Alan Firkins remarked: “No joy for the city of Manchester at the weekend, and lots of accas went into the depths of the Irwell as a consequence.
“Luton winning at Goodison and Forest drawing at home with Brentford were similarly handy for the layers, on a match week where VAR again was centre stage.”
Bet365’s Steve Freeth was more than happy to see the Manchester clubs fail to perform over the weekend.
He said: “I can’t remember cheering a Wolves win in my lifetime, but from a business point of view I’ll take a coupon-busting 2-1 win over Manchester City with a bit of Crystal Palace stopping Manchester United thrown in for good measure.
“There were some other positive results in the English top flight for once with other highlights being the 2-0 wins for both Newcastle and West Ham as well as the draw between Nottingham Forest and Brentford.”
Elsewhere, in the Ryder Cup, Europe was able to maintain its early momentum to regain the USA in what turned out to be a dramatic final day in Rome.
After bolting out of the gates in hot form, some bookies, including Betfred, paid out on Europe to win the glamour event.
Firkins said: “Fred paid out early on a Europe Ryder Cup win on Saturday morning, barely halfway through the contest. What a dominant performance, even though the Americans rallied a little in the singles. We were top-price Europe early doors and that proved extremely popular.”
Europe needed four points from Sunday’s 12 singles matches to beat the US after winning both morning sessions on Friday and Saturday 4-0 and 3-1, with Europe taking a 10 ½ – 5 ½ lead into the final day.
Tommy Fleetwood sealed victory for Europe in the 11th game, and in the final match-up, Shane Lowry wrapped things up to give Europe a 16 ½ – 11 ½ victory.
Bet365’s Freeth said: “It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that Europe were 15/8 to win the Ryder Cup, yet a late surge of money saw the hosts go off a shade of odds-on and in truth their backers were never in danger.
“The opening day was expensive with our Super Boost of 21/20 to 7/4 about Europe winning day one copping on the bridle coupled with the 20/1 on Europe winning the morning session 4-0.
“We had a bit of joy on day two with a fightback of sorts and no complaints about day three having built up monster liabilities on 18/1 United States making a shock comeback.
“Ante post-wise, we dodged one with Viktor Hovland failing to finish top European points scorer, but punters got it spot on with Max Homa for the United States,” Freeth concluded.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was in fine fettle at Marco Simone, and while the bookmakers may have avoided being burnt on Hovland, the world number two was on hand to give the punters some joy.
Yeomans added: “With the Europe very well backed in the lead up to the event and eventually going off favourites at even money, the result was one of joy for punters backing Luke Donald’s men. Rory McIlroy bagging his first ever four points at the event made him the European team’s top points scorer and only added to the woes of our golf traders.”
Meanwhile, in horseracing, the marque event of the weekend was the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris.
Ace Impact (5/2) won the race to give trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and jockey Cristian Demuro their second victory in four years.
Ace Impact was able to burst past Westover in the closing moments of the race to secure victory in what is Europe’s richest race.
In the other big race of the weekend, the Prix Marcel Boussac was won by Opera Singer (2/1). Ridden by Ryan Moore, was able to stay ahead of the other joint-favourite Darnation and win the race with ease, with the previously unbeaten Rose Bloom coming in second and Les Pavots coming in third.
Firkins remarked: “An imperious Arc performance in Paris from Ace Impact, has a horse ever been more aptly named? A fabulously talented son of Cracksman, whose father is the incomparable Frankel.
“Aidan’s Opera Singer was as impressive in taking the Marcel Boussac, and she’s now 11/2 favourite for the 1000 Guineas next May. She bounced off the unseasonably fast ground and was visually quite sensational,” he added.