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Matchweek 8 Review – Gunners win City blockbuster, McTominay’s late brace

Matchweek 8 of the 2023/24 EPL season saw Arsenal edge a blockbuster against Man City, Spurs go top and the rarest of feats: a brace in extra-time.

Arsenal shake up title race

It was billed as the biggest blockbuster of the season to date. And while it didn’t quite live up to the billing in terms of entertainment, Arsenal fans won’t care in the slightest. The Gunners ($2.85) defeated Manchester City ($2.30) to leapfrog the title favourites and shake up the 2023-24 race. It was winger Gabriel Martinelli who bagged the late winner; the Brazilian’s deflected strike — after five games out with injury — hitting the back of the net in the 86th minute to deliver $9.75 for punters who backed him to be the first goalscorer, and $4.00 for any anytime goalscorer bets. The 1-0 result for Mikel Arteta’s men also delivered $11 in the correct score market, while Under 1.5 goals was at $3.70 pre-game.

The result maintains Arsenal’s unbeaten start to their EPL season after eight games. For City, though, it’s a different story. Pep Guardiola’s men have already lost twice this season. And including the League Cup defeat to Newcastle, have now lost three of their last four. A fortnight ago City had shortened into $1.36 title favourite, with Arsenal out at $8.00. Now, that gap has cut to $1.72 and $4.50 respectively.

Spurs go top

Perhaps the only downside of Arsenal’s victory was that it allowed their North London rivals Tottenham to go top of the EPL table. Ange Postecoglou’s men travelled to Luton as solid $1.40 favourites in the opening game of Matchweek 8. But after failing to convert on possession AND having Yves Bissouma sent off just before half-time for diving, their unbeaten run to start the season was looking shaky. But going down to 10-men didn’t faze his rejuvenated side. Defensive revelation Micky van de Ven slotted home early in the second half ($35 first goalscorer with Palmerbet). From there, Spurs put in a professional shift to ensure they walked away with three points against the relegation favourites.

It needs to be repeated: Postecoglou signed his contract just four months ago. They’re unbeaten after eight games. They’re SCORED in every game. It’s their best start to a season since 1980. And now, they’re riding high atop the EPL table.

McTominay bags brace in added time

As the clock ticked past 90 minutes and Manchester United stared down the barrel of a third straight EPL home loss, the Old Trafford faithful were warming up their vocal cords for a heartiest of boos they’ve delivered in some time. Manager Erik ten Hag was already under pressure heading into their clash against Brentford. It was a game they were expected to win as $1.60 favourites with Palmerbet.

The Dutchman threw a real hail mary and told defensive midfielder Scott McTominay to go up front and go your hardest. Against all odds, it paid off. The Scotsman hit the back of the net in the 93rd and 97th minute to give United an unlikely three EPL points and ensure heartbreak for the Bees ($4.70). McTominay was $26 pre-game to score 2+ goals with Palmerbet — and that’s even if he started the game. What his (theoretical live) odds might’ve been to bag a brace as 90 minutes elapsed would’ve been enormous. He saved ten Hag’s bacon, but the manager isn’t out of the woods. United were, once again, exceptionally poor on home turf. Another Top 4 finish looks a world away for the under-fire club.

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