Who pocketed you the most money this weekend, and which favourites let you down?
Punt of the weekend: Diego Costa to score first but Sunderland to beat Chelsea 3-2 (175/1)
There are three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and Sunderland narrowly escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth after a huge result against one of the bigger sides. If anything, we should have seen it coming – and one punter certainly did to the tune of 175/1.
It took just 14 minutes for Diego Costa to get this bet off to the perfect start as he squeezed in the ball from a tight angle with a lovely finish past Vito Mannone. However the sides were level after 40 minutes as Wahbi Khazri attempted to retire the term ‘Thunderbast**d’ with one of the sexiest volleys you’ll see all season.
Nemanja Matic put Chelsea back in front just before half-time, putting the ball through Mannone’s legs to make Guus Hiddink’s team-talk a little easier – and leave this punter needing a dramatic Sunderland comeback to pocket him the cash. And that’s exactly what he got as Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe each scored inside a crazy three minute second half spell.
John Terry finished the match with a red card, Jermain Defoe made another claim to be on the plane to Euro 2016, while Sunderland can confirm safety with a win against Everton on Wednesday. Most importantly however, the crazy result pocketed this punter a tidy win to sign off the season in style.
Banker: Liverpool (4/7)
Liverpool had won five of the last eight games in all competitions going into the home clash with Watford, and momentum was on their side after a rousing performance at Anfield had put Villarreal to the sword on Thursday night. Jurgen Klopp has a Europa League Final to look forward to and Liverpool were as short as 4/7 to continue their good form against a Watford team eyeing up the beach.
Watford’s season has been a success – make no bones about it. They’ve performed well in large parts and confirmed safety quite comfortably. However they’ve only won three of the last 11 in all competitions and their form has dropped dramatically in recent weeks. It was no surprise to see Liverpool being well backed in accumulators, and the Reds duly obliged with ease on Sunday afternoon.
Joe Allen put the home side ahead after 35 minutes, and Roberto Firmino guaranteed there would be no squeaky bum time by putting the game to bed with 15 minutes remaining. Easy.
Blow-out: West Ham (4/11)
Going into Saturday’s game at Upton Park, West Ham were on a 10-game unbeaten run and there was still a slim chance that the Hammers could sneak a top four spot and pick up Champions League. Slaven Billic’s side hadn’t tasted home defeat since August 22 (against Bournemouth) and confidence was high going into a clash with a Swansea side who had shown a seriously mixed bag of form in recent weeks – losing 3-0 to Newcastle, 4-0 to Leicester, and then beating Liverpool 3-1 at home.
At 4/11 West Ham were considered bankers for the week, although it wasn’t to be as Wayne Routledge started a Swansea rout. Routledge poked home Kyle Naughton’s drilled cross, before Andre Ayew made it two before the oranges. Ki Sung-Yueng put the game to bed six minutes after half-time, and although Stephen Kingsley put into his own net to give West Ham a consolation, Bafetimbi Gomes put the exclamation point on it with a fourth in stoppage time.
Champions League is almost gone for West Ham, and they may still lose out on a Europa League place to Southampton if results don’t go their way. Punters who were stung by the 4/11 shots probably won’t mind…
The value bet that looks painfully obvious: Sergio Aguero to score anytime (Evens)
Heading into Sunday’s clash with Arsenal, Sergio Aguero had scored in five consecutive Premier League games, had 16 goals in his last 16 top flight matches, and was receiving silver service from Kevin De Bruyne. At Even money to score at anytime against Arsenal, surely we should have been more alive to the fact that the little Argentinian was on fire?
Alas, we did not. And now hindsight is laughing at us as we struggle towards payday.
It took just eight minutes for Aguero to get his name on the scoresheet. Fernandinho’s header down was controlled by Aguero on the edge of the box, and he fired past Petr Cech to become the first Man City player to score in six Premier League games on the spin. It also moves Aguero onto 24 goals for the season, as he aims to retain his Premier League Golden Boot.
Tell me again why we didn’t back him?
The longshot that nobody saw coming: Wayne Routledge to score first and Swansea to beat West Ham 4-1 (2,500/1)
We’ve touched on the West Ham result earlier, but to put into some kind of context how unlikely that result was, not one punter manged to back the 2,500/1 scorecast.
Firstly Wayne Routledge was an 18/1 shot to open the scoring, and for good reason. Ahead of the game in the last three seasons, Routledge has averaged a league goal every 1,092 minutes. That’s a goal every 18 hours of Premier League football. He’s hardly prolific. Then there was West Ham’s impressive unbeaten run, their aim of Champions League football, their impressive home form, and Swansea’s mixed results as they amble towards their summer holidays. The 4-1 win for Swansea was a 400/1 shot accordingly.
That makes up a whopping 2,500/1 scorecast that not one punter saw coming, and shows just how unlikely such a result was on a crazy weekend of Premier League action.