Manchester City today clinched the Premier League title with five games remaining, and they didn't even have to kick a ball to do it as neighbours United handed them the trophy with a surprise home defeat to West Brom. Mike Norman explains...
"Over £12m was traded on the 2017/18 Premier League Winner market, but with City effectively running away with the title - eventually winning it with five games remaining - no team other than the winners traded at odds-on, or even notably shorter than their pre-season odds."
It's been almost inevitable for the whole of 2018 but Manchester City have today sealed the Premier League title without even kicking a ball on Sunday afternoon.
The Citizens had their fate in their own hands last weekend, but gave up a 2-0 lead at home to Manchester United, eventually losing 2-3, meaning they would have to wait for at least another eight days before being crowned champions.
Pep Guardiola's men - matched at a high of [3.7] at the start of the season to win the title - did what they had to do on Saturday evening by putting in a superb display to win 3-1 at Wembley over Tottenham, but very few expected United to lose at home to West Brom on Sunday afternoon which would hand the title to their neighbours and fierce rivals.
But that's exactly what happened. The Baggies, rock bottom of the table and generally around a [18.0] chance prior to kick-off, stunned the Red Devils with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford thanks to Jay Rodrigeuez's second half header.
Over £12m was traded on the 2017/18 Premier League Winner market, but with City effectively running away with the title - eventually winning it with five games remaining - no team other than the winners traded at odds-on, or even notably shorter than their pre-season odds.
Potters and Saints in big trouble
Despite the win for West Brom the layers remain convinced that they will be relegated to the Championship with no one willing to offer the minimum odds of [1.01] in the Relegation market. The Baggies remain nine points from safety with just four games to go.
And it's look increasingly likely that the two clubs that will join West Brom in the Championship next season will be Stoke and Southampton, who can now be backed at [1.17] and [1.51] respectively. Stoke travel to West Ham on Monday evening, six points from safety, while Southampton threw away a 2-0 lead at home to Chelsea on Saturday, eventually losing 2-3, meaning they are five points behind Swansea in 17th place.
Magnificent Magpies, Brilliant Burnley
Earlier on Sunday Newcastle confirmed their Premier League status for next season with a 2-1 win at home to Arsenal. The victory was the Magpies' fourth consecutive win meaning they climb to 10th in the table, three points clear of 11th with a game hand, meaning they are now as short as [1.11] to record a Top 10 Finish.
But for many, the story of the season away from Man City's title saunter is Burnley's incredible rise from relegation favourites to top six contenders. Sean Dyche's men won for the fifth game in succession on Saturday afternoon, beating the team immediately below them, Leicester, 2-1 at Turf Moor.
The victory means the Clarets are almost certain of finishing seventh, but they now sit just two points behind Arsenal and a Top 6 Finish is far from out of their reach, especially with the Gunners' main target now the Europa League. The [5.9] about Burnley overtaking Arsenal might not last too long.