Sports betting

Weekend Review: City bust accas as Liverpool close gap to nine points

Champions held to 1-1 draw at Southampton while two-miler Shishkin powers home to land epic Ascot encounter

Manchester City (1/4) showed their vulnerable side as Pep Guardiola’s side could only muster a 1-1 draw away to Southampton (10/1), leaving the bookies buzzing.

Kyle Walker-Peters gave the Saints and early lead before Aymeric Laporte equalised for the champions as they allowed the gap to be closed to nine points from closest challengers Liverpool.

2020 Premier League champions Liverpool (11/20), who also have a game in hand on City, eased past Crystal Palace (19/4) 3-1 thanks to a controversially awarded penalty courtesy of VAR.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “In the Premier League overall it was a good weekend for the traders as results on the whole went our way. City being held to a draw at Southampton was our best result in the book over the weekend as a whole, as well as taking huge numbers of accas with it too.”

Elsewhere, Arsenal (7/25) were held to a 0-0 draw against relegation-threatened Burnley (10/1) while Newcastle (11/4) boosted their chances of survival with a 1-0 win over Leeds (9/10) thanks to a Jonjo Shelvey freekick.

Betway’s Chad Yeomans said: “With Man City dropping points at Southampton, Arsenal dropping points at home to Burnley and Newcastle registering just their second win of the campaign, it meant that it was a largely a good weekend for us.”

There were some positives for the punters as Manchester United (21/20) secured a 1-0 win over West Ham (5/2) thanks to a stoppage time winner from Marcus Rashford while Chelsea (7/10) won out 2-0 over London rivals Spurs (4/1).

Yeomans added: “Obviously, Manchester United’s last gasp winner at home to West Ham and Chelsea extending their unbeaten run over Spurs to seven, were good results for punters, but we came out on top over the weekend.”

In horseracing, Shishkin and Energumene served up a fascinating clash as the two big guns over two miles battled it out in the Clarence House at Ascot.

Shishkin had headed the market at 4/6, yet the money poured in for Energumene, which is owned by renowned gambler Tony Bloom, with Star Sports reporting that it laid a £360,000 bet on the Irish-trained raider who went off at 5/4.

In what was a nail-biting finish to the four-runner Group 1 encounter, Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin managed to claw in his rival who traded as short as 1.13 on Betfair after the last obstacle to win by a length.

With Saturday’s Clarence House being called a race of the ages, all eyes are now on the rematch in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “There was a gasp from the racing desk as Shishkin reeled in Energumene in Ascot’s Clarence House. Partly rueing the fact that the heavily-backed superstar had prevailed, but also a reaction to the sheer, breathless drama. What a magnificent spectacle, as two brilliant, brave horses gave their all.”

Virgin Bet head of trading Janis Strauts added: “The featured Clarence House Chase certainly lived up to the hype as part of a classic day of national hunt racing as Shiskin and Energumene went head-to-head, with Shiskin’s victory a setback in the book for Virgin Bet.

“Further victories for Jonbon, Yala Elki and Peter Marsh contributed to a topsy-turvy day for us, whilst favourable results at Lingfield and Wolverhampton ensured Virgin Bet ultimately finished up on top,” he concluded.

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