Premier League Review: United rally to take control of second spot

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United are four points clear of Leicester

Manchester United capitalised on their rivals dropping points to come from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 and they lead Charlie Mullan's Premier League odds review...

"United are 14 points better off than they were after 30 games last season and their odds of finishing second reflect that improvement. United are 1.222/9 to
finish runners-up to Manchester City
"

Greenwood completes another United comeback

Manchester United came from a goal down to beat Brighton 2-1 at Old Trafford in a day of comebacks in the Premier League. All four sides that scored first, failed to win. That continued a trend we have seen recently - in the 33 league games played in March, the team that scored first failed to win just six times.

United have picked up 25 of their 60 points after conceding the opening goal this season.

Mason Greenwood scored United's winner seven minutes from time to open up a four-point gap on third-placed Leicester who were beaten 2-0 at home to Manchester City on Saturday. With eight games left, United will hope to stay in control of second spot despite having the Europa League to contend with. The Red Devils' have lost just one of their nine league games following a European tie this season.

United have their best points total at this stage of a season since they last won the title in May 2013. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are 14 points better off than they were after 30 games last season and their odds of finishing second reflect that improvement. United are 1.222/9 to finish runners-up to Manchester City who are 14 points clear at the top of the table.

As for Brighton, this was a missed opportunity. Leading 1-0 after an hour, they allowed their hosts back into the game. Graham Potter's side are six points above the fight to avoid relegation where they can be backed at 26.025/1. They should be safe, but with the toughest run-in of any side in the league, the Seagulls have work to do to ensure they are playing in the top flight next season.

Willock rescues Bruce's Magpies

For the first time in 18 league games, Newcastle managed to score in both halves and their second half goal from Joe Willock could be a crucial one come the end of the season. Willock's equaliser came five minutes from time and rescued a point for the Magpies who opened the scoring at St James' Park. 

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The draw moved Newcastle three points clear of Fulham in 18th place and while the Craven Cottage side have a better goal difference, Steve Bruce's side have a game in hand on their fellow strugglers. There won't be any celebrations on Tyneside just yet though as there is plenty of work left to be done if Newcastle are to extend their stay in the top flight. 

Newcastle can be backed at 2.47/5 to be relegated and return to the Championship after five seasons in the Premier League.

Spurs have now dropped 15 points from leading positions and Newcastle's late equaliser was the ninth goal they have conceded in the final 10 minutes.

Tottenham's season-long problem of conceding late goals returned to haunt them and they could miss out on a top four finish, where they can be backed at 5.24/1, if this issue is not resolved. 

Diogo's double revives Liverpool's hopes

The international break came at a very good time for Liverpool to take stock of their league season and resuscitate their top four hopes which had been on a life support for the last couple of months. It remains to be seen whether the champions' 3-0 win at Arsenal is a one-off or the start of a run of form that saves their domestic programme. 

Diogo Jota continued his impressive run of goals with a brace to make it six goals in his last four games for club and country. It makes you wonder if Liverpool would not be higher in the table had Jota not missed three months of the season. The defending champions made ground on the teams above them in the table and they find themselves just two points behind Chelsea in fourth. Liverpool can be backed at 2.021/1 to end the season in the top four

Mohamed Salah's goal edged him a goal clear at the top of Golden Boot award, but the Egyptian found himself a goal behind Harry Kane following his brace for Tottenham at Newcastle on Sunday. Salah is 2.6413/8 to be the league's leading scorer ahead of Kane who is favourite at 1.794/5. Both players are aiming to finish top of the goalscoring chart for a third time. 

Thiago's red card leads to Blues demise

Aiming for an eighth successive clean sheet, Chelsea's defensive resolve was destroyed by - of all teams - West Brom. Since Thomas Tuchel took over as manager, the Blues conceded a goal every 630 minutes. Against the relegation-threatened Baggies, they conceded a goal every 11 minutes once Matheus Pereira scored West Brom's first in added on time at the end of the first half.

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Tuchel's decision to rest some of his starters ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final at Porto backfired. Tuchel started Thiago Silva, but the veteran defender lasted just 29 minutes after picking up a second yellow card following a challenge on Okay Yokuslu.

The dismissal changed the game and could change the landscape in the race for a top four finish. Chelsea are 2.0621/20 to make the top four, but the way they performed against the Baggies, layers might fancy their chances at 2.226/5.

Chelsea will hope their heaviest defeat of the season will serve as a wake-up call. The Blues have three teams snapping at their heels two points behind them, while West Ham will climb above Tuchel's side if they win at Wolves on Monday night - something our previewer expects to happen. European football could be a distraction for Chelsea and they are priced at 6.86/1 to win the Champions League for a second time.  

West Brom's five keeps survival hopes alive

If West Brom manage to pull off their great escape this season, Sam Allardyce will look back at their win at Chelsea as being the catalyst for their survival. If they end up being relegated, they will wonder why they did not perform to this level much earlier in the season. 

Before their 5-2 win at Stamford Bridge, which was priced at 200/1 prior to kick-off, the Baggies had scored just 20 goals and while their five goals were scored against 10 men, they took their chances with aplomb. They will have to continue to take chances between now and the end of the campaign, but even if they do, they might have left themselves with too much to do to stay up. 

Fulham's loss at Aston Villa and Newcastle's draw at home to Tottenham meant the Baggies were the big winners in the fight to stay up. The Hawthorns side are 1.061/18 to be relegated, but Saturday's performance may attract layers looking to cash in on Allardyce's side at 1.071/14.

West Brom ended the weekend eight points from safety, but their win and performance at Stamford Bridge will give the Baggies confidence ahead of Southampton's visit to the Hawthorns next Monday.

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Saturday 12 September, 12.30pm

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