Luton hold Liverpool to famous draw while Madrid giants can’t find a win over the weekend as punters pipped
It was a welcome weekend in the Premier League for the layers as favourites finally faltered to punish the punters.
Luton (14/1) almost pulled off the impossible after going 1-0 up against Liverpool (1/5) on Sunday evening through former Manchester United youngster Tahith Chong before Luis Diaz scored an emotional stoppage time equaliser at Kenilworth Road.
Earlier in the day, Aston Villa (9/10) fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Nottingham Forest (11/4) as the Villains’ high line and a clanger from Emi Martinez gave the Reds a surprise victory.
Brighton (7/5) being held to a 1-1 draw away to a somewhat resurgent Everton, and Sheffield United (16/5) winning 2-1 at home to Wolves (19/20) thanks to an Oli Norwood penalty in the 100th minute also gave the bookies a bounce.
VAR controversy was the order of the Saturday evening game, as Newcastle (7/4) ran out 1-0 winners over Arsenal (8/5) thanks to an Anthony Gordon strike that was subject to three separate checks.
The Geordies escaped, much to the dismay of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, to keep the Magpies marching.
Such was the success in the Premier League, Francisco Cano, LiveScore Group head of trading said: “It was an amazing weekend overall with one our best turnover and margin figures since entering the industry.”
A 91st-minute winner from Bruno Fernandes for Manchester United (13/10) away to Fulham (19/10) in the lunchtime kick-off would have resulted in groans across trading rooms, but those fears soon dissipated.
Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “After a tough run of results over the last few weeks for the traders here, the weekend saw a full swing and was layers’ paradise almost across the board.
“We almost got off to the perfect start on Saturday with United putting in another poor display and looking booked for a 0-0, until a 91st-minute Fernandes winner got the punters off to a good start, just.
“But after that, Man City was the only blip as we came out ahead in the other seven games. No surprise Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Luton was the pick of the results and finished a great weekend off nicely, taking almost all live accas with it too.”
Betway’s Chad Yeomans said Liverpool’s draw and Aston Villa’s loss meant “footballer traders finished the weekend on a high”.
Additionally, while City smashed Bournemouth 6-1 in Manchester, Erling Haaland failed to score or assist and was pulled at half-time with an ankle issue, much to the delight of the traders.
Yeomans added: “Manchester City were thoroughly dominant from the off at home to Bournemouth, and a City win was an easy green tick on many accumulators by half-time.
“The saving grace in this match-up for us was Erling Haaland’s failure to register a goal or an assist, and his removal from the game at half-time with a sprained ankle. Newcastle’s controversial win later that day against Arsenal upset Mikel Arteta but pleased our traders by busting many accumulators.
“Only a few punters believed Forest’s unbeaten record at home this season would continue, and their 2-0 victory was a very favourable result for the books. Finally, Liverpool’s failure to get past a Luton side who have found life difficult in the top flight was the shock result of the weekend.”
LiveScore’s Cano added: “We saw fantastic results across all of Europe, with the main soccer events being the unexpected draw between Luton and Liverpool, and Arsenal’s controversial defeat to Newcastle – both games provided a very good margin for us.”
Over on the continent, there were also welcome results for the layers, as Jude Bellingham failed to sprinkle his magic on a game for the first time in … forever.
Real Madrid (1/5) were held to a 0-0 draw against fellow capital club Rayo Vallecano while Atletico Madrid lost 2-1 at Las Palmas on Friday evening.
There were wins for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and other usual suspects but European football was still a positive in line with the Premier League for the bookies.
Bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “A mixed bag in Europe with an injury time winner for Barcelona and a crazy comeback by Jose Mourinho’s Roma, plus another magnificent performance from Harry Kane in Germany.
“But, we saved the best until last, with both Real Madrid and Jude Bellingham failing to produce the goods for once. I went to bed expecting to see Bellingham 90 +7’ but awoke to see Real Madrid 0 Rayo Vallecano 0.
“We’ve not had a brilliant start to the campaign by any means, finding it difficult in all the major European leagues, but this coupon-busting weekend was a huge step in the right direction,” he added.
Elsewhere, in horseracing, action from the Breeders’ Cup in Santa Anita threw up some mixed results as the Brits put their stamp on proceedings.
English and Irish Derby winner Auguste Rodin continued to make headlines with a win, ridden by Ryan Moore.
Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “A mixed bag on the racing front – definitely had the upper hand on Saturday afternoon but we got caned in the evening, with seven Breeders’ Cup favourites obliging in nine races.
“Sensational finishes were the order of the day and ‘our’ jockeys – Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and Will Buick – were involved in absolute thrillers. It was expensive, but fantastic to behold.”
Gill added: “The weekend saw the coveted Breeders’ Cup over in Santa Anita, and it served up some fantastic racing with the Brits really putting on a show. The Breeders’ Cup Turf went the way of double Derby hero Auguste Rodin under a pitch perfect ride from Ryan Moore.
“A 5/1 favourite, that was a result for the punters. A similar story in the Filly & Mare Turf, as Inspiral and Frankie timed their finishing charge to perfection to beat Warm Heart by a neck. Also priced at 5/2, that was another one the punters cheered home.”
Back on home soil, Gentlemansgame beat odds-on favourite Bravemansgame to win the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in a shock result.
The 7/2 runner pulled clear on after the last, in what was only his third run over fences.
Betfred’s Firkins said: “Bravemansgame lost nothing in defeat up at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall – he’s 15/8 fave for Kempton’s King George, and 10s for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. His narrow, ultra-game conqueror on Saturday, Gentlemansgame, is 20/1 for the March showpiece.”