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Matchweek 27 Review – City outclass United, Liverpool leave it late

Matchweek 27 of the 2023/24 EPL season saw an easy derby win for Man City, Liverpool bag the latest of winners, and Arsenal continue their purple patch.

Foden-led City outclass United in Manchester Derby

In the end, it finished exactly as many had expected. But that’s not to say there wasn’t an early scare…

As $1.23 favourites heading into the Manchester Derby, City were expected to brush aside the red half of Manchester ($10) with ease. Early passages of play saw them threaten to do exactly that, until a surprise Marcus Rashford thunderbolt on eight minutes ($8.50 first goalscorer with Palmerbet) stunned the home crowd into silence. And, on the stroke of half-time when star striker Erling Haaland missed inside the six-yard box — one of the easiest chances he’ll ever get in his career — it looked like Erik ten Hag’s men may just be on for a big upset. United’s record when leading at the break was nothing short of incredible; in their prior 143 EPL games they had never lost (W123 D20).

Their hopes, however, were snuffed out by one man after the break: Phil Foden. The local lad equalised on 56 minutes before putting the hosts ahead on 80 minutes ($7.50 pre-game to score 2+ goals) in another virtuoso display this season. Haaland ($1.40 anytime goalscorer) eventually got on the scoresheet late to seal a 3-1 win ($10 correct score), as the pair yet again gave their rivals a torrid time at the back.

Agent of chaos does it again

Liverpool’s knack of snatching late wins grew to almost ridiculous levels over the weekend, nabbing a 99th-minute winner away at Nottingham Forest to maintain their place atop the EPL table. For all money headed towards a 0-0 draw at the City Ground, ‘agent of chaos’ substitute Darwin Nunez headed home to spark incredible scenes in the away end, after Liverpool had travelled to Nottingham as $1.50 favourites.

The win is yet another chapter of Jurgen Klopp’s men getting it done late. Since the German took over, no other side has scored more goals beyond 90 minutes (18) than the Reds. In fact — never mind ‘Fergie time’ at Manchester United — the Uruguayan striker’s winner was the 44th goal they’ve netted beyond 90 minutes in EPL history, which is 12 more than any other club. It’s the wins that, should they go on to win the title (now $3.25 title chances, in from $3.30), they’ll look back upon fondly. They now head into Sunday’s blockbuster against City one point ahead, in a clash that could hardly have bigger billing.

Arsenal dominate sad and sorry Blades

It was never going to be a case of ‘if’ Arsenal — the EPL’s most in form side — would get past bottom-placed Sheffield United, but ‘how much’ they’d win by. And when the Gunners ($1.15 pre-match with Palmerbet) were 5-0 up before half-time, it looked as though the Premier League’s record margin (9-0) was in genuine danger of being reset. In the end, Arsenal took their foot off the gas in the second-half to record a dominant 6-0 win, with an own goal plus five individual goalscorers; Martin Odegaard ($2.40 anytime goalscorer), Gabriel Martinelli ($2.05), Kai Havertz ($2.00), Declan Rice ($3.50) and Ben White ($7.00).

To put the result into context, Mikel Arteta’s men were $18 pre-match giving up a five-goal head-start. They’ve now scored an incredible 31 goals in their last seven games, and at $4.50 title chances are right in amongst it against Liverpool ($3.25) and City ($1.80). The 6-0 rout saw Arsenal tick past 300 EPL goals under Mikel Arteta in what was his 161st game in charge. The only managers to reach that total in fewer games in the competition are Pep Guardiola (120), Jurgen Klopp (142) and Manuel Pellegrini (149).

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