Sports betting

Weekend Review: Ole is a goner as layer’s lap up United’s unravelling

Humiliating 4-1 defeat to lowly Watford sees Norwegian shown the door as Premier League action goes the way of the bookies

A devastating 4-1 loss for Manchester United (1/2) at the hands of newly promoted Watford (11/2) left the layers ahead and Ole Gunnar Solskjær without a job over a goal-filled Premier League weekend.

Goals from Josh King and Ismaïla Sarr saw Watford go into a 2-0 lead before forgotten man Donny van de Beek pulled one back for a lacklustre United side.

However, with the game ticking into stoppage time, Watford struck twice more through João Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis to seal a famous victory, and leave Solskjær a dead man walking before his dismissal less than 24 hours later.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “Ole is no longer at the wheel. Instead, he found himself well and truly under the bus yet again, courtesy of his misfiring troops, and it was to precisely no-one’s surprise that his Old Trafford tenure ended on Sunday, after that mauling the previous day from Watford.”

Elsewhere, a 1-0 win for Wolves (21/10) against West Ham (7/5) gave the bookies another reason to smile, as did Norwich’s (5/2) ongoing resurgence with a 2-1 victory over Southampton (21/20) in Dean Smith’s first game in charge of the Canaries.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “A good weekend for us overall in the Premier League as results, on the whole, went our way. Manchester United losing was, of course, the big one, but Wolves’ win over high-flying West Ham was another one which left us nicely ahead.”

Punters did claw back at the layers with resounding wins for the three title favourites, though.

Liverpool (1/2) breezed past Arsenal (19/4) 4-0 at Anfield, while Chelsea (7/10) secured a 3-0 win over Leicester (4/1) in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off. Manchester City (1/5) moved within three points of leaders Chelsea with a 3-0 win over Everton (14/1).

Gill added: “Punters did have some luck, with Liverpool and Tottenham wins leaving us in the red, but overall, it was a layers’ weekend.”

Meanwhile, bet365’s Steve Freeth said it was a “small winning weekend” on Premier League action.

He told EGR: “Manchester United may have put in another embarrassing performance but the Red Devils don’t have the same following as they did earlier in the season when Ronaldo was papering over the cracks and there were a hatful of goals in the game as well.

“Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea all won on the bridle in a goal-laden Premier League weekend, but we did get some help in Europe with some big names coming a cropper,” he added.

With Solskjær given his marching orders, the rumour mill is now well and truly turning with whispers as to who will take over the Old Trafford hotseat.

Firkins said: “Zinedine Zidane heads our next manager betting, but does he fancy pitching his tent in the north-west? The coming days and weeks will be fascinating. Business-wise, United’s defeat was a cracker – and results were decent all in all.”

Elsewhere, in horseracing, punters were able to regain some ground on the bookies as a host of favourites secured wins over the weekend.

A Plus Tard demolished the rest of the field at Haydock at a shared of odds against in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase as the seven-year-old won by 22 lengths, with Henry de Bromhead’s charge having its odds cut once again for March’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Popular grey Bristol De Mai had been bidding for a record-equalling fourth Betfair Chase victory, yet the ground didn’t suit according to jockey Daryl Jacob afterwards, and the 11/4 second-favourite was forced to pull up two out.

Additionally, odds-on favourite Bravemansgame delivered for the those punters willing to pile in at 8/13 by winning the four-runner Graduation Chase.

Gill said: “At Haydock, the Graduation Chase went the way of short price favourite Bravemansgame, sending that one the way of the punters, with A Plus Tard another winning favourite in the Betfair Chase leaving us on the losing side as well on a day which overall was one for the punters.

Firkins added: “A Plus Tard sauntered to a Betfair Chase success at Haydock and rocketed in to 7/2 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. He didn’t beat much arguably but did so in the manner of a very smart horse indeed.

“Betfred pushed this one and several other winners at both Haydock and Ascot, so Betfred punters definitely had the upper hand,” he concluded.

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