Weekend Review: Tip-top teenagers topple City as United lift the FA Cup

Erik ten Hag’s underdogs end the season on a high with bookies made to pay the price for Pep Guardiola’s blue day at Wembley
The post Weekend Review: Tip-top teenagers topple City as United lift the FA Cup first appeared on EGR Intel.  

Manchester United (7/1) upset the odds and ended Man City’s chance of a historic double-double on Saturday by lifting the FA Cup after a 2-1 victory at Wembley.

Teenagers Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo gave the struggling Reds a surprise 2-0 lead at the break, before substitute Jeremy Doku pulled a goal back in the final 10 minutes for City to set up a tense finish.

The win ensured Erik ten Hag finished the season with silverware which could potentially save his job, while City will have to make do with their fourth Premier League title on the trot.

Despite getting “absolutely caned”, Betfred’s Alan Firkins said Fred Done would have been delighted to pay out for his supported side coming up trumps.

Firkins said: “Under normal circumstances, getting the red-hot favourites beaten in 90 minutes at an FA Cup Final would be lap of honour stuff.

“We were top-price Manchester City, too. But the world and his/her better half piled on to Manchester United at around 8/1 and 9/1, and we got absolutely caned.

“Lifelong Red Fred will have been delighted to pay out though, and despite ‘enjoying’ just 20-odd% possession, United took full advantage of their newly found resolve, and City’s below-par display.

Erik’s reaction to *that* finish from Kobbie Mainoo pic.twitter.com/zISjRFE0xT

— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) May 28, 2024

“Chasing down the unprecedented four-in-a-row Premier League titles had evidently taken its toll on the Blues, and United did fashion a picture-book goal from Mainoo reminiscent of their halcyon days,” he added.

Betway’s Michael Reading explained that the result was a positive one for the bookmaker as a lack of goals from the “usual suspects” were welcomed by the traders.

He said: “The FA Cup result was generally an excellent one for the layers, as Manchester United overcame tall odds to stun Manchester City and stop Pep Guardiola attaining the domestic double.

“The usual suspects in the goal scorer markets in Haaland and De Bruyne were also kept quiet to add further frustration to punters backing the Sky Blues. However, the late Man City goal from Jeremy Doku did hurt us in various popular markets such as the Over 2.5 goals and BTTS selections.”

On Sunday, the Championship play-off final saw Southampton return to the Premier League at the first time of asking at the expense of Leeds United.

Saints finished the season in fourth place on 87 points behind Leeds in third with 90 but ran out victorious at Wembley thanks to a 24th minute goal from Adam Armstrong.

The win sees Southampton joins Leicester City and Ipswich Town head to the top-flight.

Reading said: “More good news for the bookmakers came out of Wembley as a low-scoring affair saw underdogs Southampton overcome Leeds to be promoted to the Premier League next season.

“We make Russel Martin’s south coast team slight odds against at 5/4 to remain in the top-flight next season and avoid relegation.”

Incredible. pic.twitter.com/8TOCLUNWMk

— Southam(P)ton FC (@SouthamptonFC) May 27, 2024

Looking back at the Premier League, FairPlay Sports Media chief revenue officer Richard Gale lifted the lid on the results of the group’s ‘Million Pound Predictor’.

The free-to-play title on the Oddschecker brand saw entrants aim to win £1m by correctly picking the final order of the table.

Despite City clinching their historic fourth title in a row, and the three promoted sides – Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton – going straight back down, there were too many surprises for punters to win the Million Pound Predictor.

Just two players picked 10 correct placings, while only 0.9% of players backed Aston Villa to finish fourth.

And while United were successful in the FA Cup on Saturday, their league form wiped out 97% of players predictions.

United suffered 13 losses throughout the season which had them finish in eighth place, while the final top four spot was clinched by surprise-package Aston Villa.

Gale said: “It wasn’t meant to be for our Million Pound Predictor players this time around. While the top and bottom of the table generally went to form, it was the chaos in mid-table that bust the majority of entries.

“Manchester United’s record number of league losses, Crystal Palace’s late surge and Aston Villa’s Champions League heroics weren’t foreseen by our players, or the bookies for that matter.”

Betfred’s early odds for next season have Pep Guardiola and his players continuing their dominance of English football’s top-flight, priced at evens, while runners-up Arsenal are seen as the next favourite at 2/1.

Firkins added: “As for next season, City are evens with Betfred to make it five on the spin, it’s 2/1 Arsenal, 8/1 Liverpool, 12/1 Chelsea and 25/1 bar.”

Elsewhere, Betfred did enjoy the racing this weekend, with Rosallion winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh after being pushed to evens ahead of the race.

The Sean Levey-ridden horse won three of his four starts last year and was seen as the one to beat heading into the race.

A late surge saw the colt push ahead of Haatem and eventually win the one-mile race by a head.

Turning his attention to this weekend’s Betfred Derby Festival, Firkins observed it’s a wide open race despite City Of Troy, the “warm favourite”, at 9/4.

He said: “We fared much better on the racing scene over the weekend, despite the thrilling, last-stride Irish 2000 Guineas winner Rosallion being pushed out to evens by Fred ahead of the contest.

“All eyes are trained on Epsom for this weekend’s Betfred Derby Festival, and despite completely fluffing his lines in the Guineas, Aidan O’Brien’s City Of Troy is our warm 9/4 favourite (NRNB).”

The post Weekend Review: Tip-top teenagers topple City as United lift the FA Cup first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

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