Weekend Review: Super Swede saves Spurs as cold snap stutters sporting action
Dejan Kulusevski ends Spurs’ losing run with a late equaliser as bookies feel the winter blues
The bookies took a battering over the weekend as Saturday saw the favourites come to the fore while horseracing was hit with a cold snap up and down the UK.
Saturday saw every single Premier League favourite come through for the punters, as there were wins for Arsenal (1/4), Brentford (1/2), Burnley (3/4), Everton (8/5) and Newcastle (19/20).
Arsenal and Brentford held off fightbacks from Wolves and Luton respectively, while Everton and Newcastle emerged 1-0 winners against Nottingham Forest and Manchester United.
The only convincing winner on Saturday was Burnley, who mounted the pressure on Paul Heckingbottom at Sheffield United with a resounding 5-0 win at Turf Moor.
The result leaves Sheffield United with fewer points at this stage of the season than the infamous Derby County of 2007-08, who finished with just 11 points in a dreadful campaign for the Rams.
Bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “Wins for Arsenal, Brentford, Burnley, Everton and Newcastle made it a full house for Premier League favourite backers on Saturday as we took a pummelling from our soccer acca boost.”
Sunday was a festive football feast, with 24 goals scored across the five games. Aston Villa (11/10) salvaged a 2-2 draw away at Bournemouth thanks to a late Ollie Watkins goal while a snooze fest in East London saw West Ham (9/10) and Crystal Palace (3/1) share the points.
Liverpool (1/4) seemingly had their own Lazarus act, pulling victory from the jaws of defeat. The Reds were 3-2 down at home to Fulham (9/1) going into the 87th minute before a quickfire double from Wataru Endō and Trent Alexander-Arnold sent Liverpool second, two points off of leaders Arsenal.
On the turnaround at Anfield, Freeth added: “At 20/1 with the clock running down, it did look like Liverpool were going to suffer a rare defeat at Anfield. I left the room and returned minutes later to see them winning 4-3. Incredible. The Reds are 11/2 to once again remain unbeaten at Anfield this season.”
Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “There was nmore stunning fare from Anfield, as layers far and wide had a glorious Fulham turn-up snatched away by an inspired Liverpool comeback, edging a seven-goal thriller.”
The drama continued as the box office game of the weekend saw an injury-ravaged Tottenham (9/1) travel to Etihad on the back of three losses in a row against treble winners Manchester City (1/4).
Heung-Min Son opened the scoring for Spurs in the sixth minute before putting through his own net minutes later. Phil Foden then gave City a deserved lead going into the break before failing to put the game to bed, which saw Giovani Lo Celso level things 20 minutes from time.
Jack Grealish thought he won it for the Citizens with less than 10 minutes to go, but Dejan Kulusevski rose highest at the back post in stoppage time to send the travelling fans into raptures.
Kindred Group’s Sam Farley said: “Generally we had a good weekend although some of the Premier League results didn’t help us.
City versus Spurs was unsurprisingly the biggest event of the weekend. A cracker of a game with six goals and eight cards it was a great watch and we just about got away unscathed thanks to Erling Haaland not getting among the goals. The goals were great to watch but didn’t help us with our Over 4.5 goals boost, which was expensive,” he added.
Firkins said Sunday’s results helped ease the pain felt by bookies after the damage dealt on Saturday.
He commented: “Three Sunday draws in this latest pulsating Premier League campaign helped ease some of Saturday’s trading pain, none more so than at the Etihad. There’s something about the sight of a sky blue shirt that does wondrous things to Tottenham Hotspur footballers, and they wouldn’t be denied at least a share of the spoils in a six-goal thriller against a suddenly leaky Manchester City.”
The continent was full of punter-friendly results, with Real Madrid (9/50), Girona (13/20) and Athletic Bilbao (2/5) picking up wins in Spain, while both Milan clubs and Lazio (7/10) won in Italy.
In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund (4/1) and Bayer Leverkusen (3/5) played out an entertaining 1-1 draw, while RB Leipzig (1/5) held out to squeak a narrow 2-1 victory at home to Heidenheim (12/1).
Elsewhere, the UK’s cold snap hit the world of horseracing pretty hard, with Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth card called off, so the main focus was Newbury.
The main surprise of the day came in the Coral Gold Cup when 16/1 Datsalrightgino battled from last place to first to win for jockey Gavin Sheehan and trainer Jamie Snowden.
Datsalrightgino saw off Mahler Mission’s and Monbeg Genius’s advances to claim victory by three-and-three-quarter lengths.
Firkins elaborated on the weekend’s action while also giving an update on pricing as we edge closer to Cheltenham next year.
He said: “Datsalrightgino sprang a 16/1 surprise in the big one, the Coral Gold Cup, while Cheltenham Festival ante-post movers centred around two horses that ran in Ireland.
“Firefox was cut from 25/1 into 10/1 for the Supreme and 18/1 into 12/1 for the Ballymore. Gordon Elliott’s charge has a big Xmas target at Leopardstown, too, the Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle.
“Another with Grade 1 Xmas entries is JP McManus’ Corbett’s Cross – and as for March, it’s 18/1 into 10/1 for the Brown Advisory and 16/1 into 10/1 for the Turners. The Emmet Mullins-trained six-year-old scored in cosy fashion, and last year’s Albert Bartlett favourite went into plenty of notebooks.”
In snooker, Ronnie O’Sullivan made UK Championship history over the weekend by becoming the oldest title winner at 47. This victory comes 30 years after O’Sullivan made history by becoming the youngest-ever winner of the UK Championship.
Betway’s Chad Yeomans said: “In the snooker world, Ronnie O’Sullivan, the pre-tournament second favourite, made history as the oldest-ever UK champion on Sunday night, securing a 10-7 victory over China’s Ding Junhui.
“Following a surge in overnight bets, The Rocket is now the 4/1 favourite, narrowly edging out Judd Trump (9/2), to clinch the World Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre next April,” he added.