Sports betting

Weekend Review: Salah shocks City while layers lap up low-scoring Premier League performances

Liverpool end champions’ unbeaten run as Arsenal open up lead at top of table and Baaeed loses unbeaten record in final run

Liverpool (11/4) brought an end to Manchester City’s (17/20) unbeaten Premier League season in a result cheered across bookies’ trading floors on Sunday afternoon.

Mohamed Salah twisted João Cancelo into a Portuguese pretzel after a quick drop-kick from Liverpool keeper Alisson to run through into acres of grass before lifting the ball over City stopper Ederson to give the Reds a 1-0 win.

The game, fraught with tension both on and off the pitch, saw Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp sent off, but the upset gave the bookies a welcome end to the weekend.

Goal machine Erling Haaland failed to find the target and the low-scoring affair was cheered by the layers, as City gave up ground to league leaders Arsenal (3/5) who ran out 1-0 winners at Leeds (4/1).

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “Overall, a great weekend for layers with some big results in the win column for Kindred.

“Of course, the big event of the weekend was Liverpool versus City, and one of the better 1-0 matches you’ll see went the way of Liverpool, much to traders’ delight. The match came in as our biggest event and biggest win of the weekend overall,” he added.

With Haaland uncharacteristically quiet, it gave the bookies a welcome break from the Norwegian while the bettors were understandably disappointed to see the forward fail to score.

Bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “Our free £5 bet offer on the Liverpool versus Manchester City game was always going to be expensive, and even though Salah scored he’s been replaced at the top of the popularity charts by Haaland so a blank from the Norwegian in a game of few goals got the thumbs up from us.

“In truth, it was a Premier League coupon with few goals and that always gets few complaints from us.”

Elsewhere, after a power cut led to a delayed kick off, Arsenal continued their onwards march with a Bukayo Saka goal giving the Gunners a 1-0 win at Elland Road.

Patrick Bamford failed to convert from the spot before another chance from 12 yards was scrapped by VAR to send the away side back to London with three points.

Meanwhile, Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Newcastle in a drab affair, while a series of draws and low-scoring wins meant there were only 15 goals from nine Premier League fixtures over the weekend.

Gill continued: “United’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle was another great result for the book, with the other 0-0 draw over the weekend between Leicester and Crystal Palace also leaving us nicely ahead, as all told we managed profit in seven of the nine games played over the weekend.”

A 2-0 win for Spurs (2/5) over Everton (6/1), which saw Harry Kane edge closer to Jimmy Greaves’ record of 266 goals for the club after converting a penalty, gave Antonio Conte’s men all three points.

The win put Spurs in third place, level on points with City and four behind leaders Arsenal.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins reflected on the weekend’s action and revealed to EGR the latest title odds following the action.

He said: “Weapons-grade excitement in a match decided by a João Cancelo error and a little sprinkle of Mo magic. Salah’s back on-song, and City weren’t quite at it.

“Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez snuffed out Haaland for the most part and leaders Arsenal, chaotic winners at Elland Road, will be delighted. Latest title odds are City 2/9, Arsenal 11/2, Spurs 20/1, Liverpool still 25s, along with Chelsea.”

On the continent, Real Madrid (6/5) emerged 3-1 winners in El Clasico as Karim Benzema and Fede Valverde set Los Blancos on their way to all three points.

Ferran Torres pulled one back for Barcelona (9/5), before a stoppage time penalty converted by Rodrygo restored Madrid’s two-goal advantage and sent them three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Big wins for Bayern Munich and Ajax meant the punters had some luck outside of the UK, while a 1-0 victory for PSG over Marseille was a silver lining for the bookies.

Freeth said: “El Clasico was one for punters with Real Madrid versus Barcelona being our worst result of the weekend. We knew our fate when Benzema opened the scoring after 12 minutes and AC Milan getting a late winner in Verona was a bit frustrating.

“Ajax’s 7-1 thumping of Excelsior also found its way onto our list of bad results with a flurry of late goals, as did Bayern’s 5-0 win over Freiburg,” he added.

Elsewhere, in horseracing, Baaeed’s farewell fell flat after finishing fourth in the Champion Stakes at Ascot with 10-1 shot Bay Bridge taking the win.

With Baaeed the 1/4 red-hot favourite, he was expected to romp home in his final race, yet the day ended in disappointment with jockey Jim Crowley blaming the soft ground for the lacklustre performance, which saw Baaeed lose his unbeaten record ahead of retirement to stud.

Firkins said it was a “shame” to see Baaeed go out with a fizzle rather than a bang, with Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikha Hissa al-Maktoum, Baaeed’s owner, adding: “I’m sad that he hasn’t gone out unbeaten but he’s still given us some fantastic days.”

Away from the furore around Baaeed, the layers were able to get some good wins over the weekend.

Bayside Boy, running at 33/1, came out on top in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, with favourite Inspiral failing to impress.

In the final race, the Balmoral Handicap, 80/1 outsider Shelir smashed through a 20-runner line-up to land a shock victory.

Kindred’s Gill said: “At Ascot the final curtain came down on the official flat season with QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday. The result of the day as far as the book was concerned was 11/10 shot Inspiral disappointing to finish no better than sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, with 33/1 shot Bayside Boy winning well in the end to leave a healthy profit.

“The final race on the card, The Balmoral Handicap, went the way of 80/1-shot Shelir, unsurprisingly another great result leaving some happy traders. Kinross took the Sprint Stakes in a result for the punters, but all told it was a day for the layers as the flat season came to an end,” he added.

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