English Premier League
Nobody saw that coming. I mean, seriously, who scores four goals on the counter attack at Old Trafford? The answer on this most rare of occasions was David Moyes' relentless Everton side, who, motivated by a tight head-to-head battle with a nearby rival of their own, went and threw an almighty spanner in the title works yesterday with an unlikely, but fully deserved draw.
Given United's slip-up, Manchester City went into their game at now-relegated Wolves with fresh impetus, strolling to a 2-0 win that could and should've been five or six. Cue the hype-merchants, who will be in overdrive over the course of the next seven days, because the two Manchester clubs will meet next Monday for a title showdown. United's odds have lengthened to 1.45, but suddenly it's City, who will go top if they win at The Etihad next week thanks to their far superior goal difference, who look ever so tempting at 2.75.
Borussia Dortmund wrapped up their second title in a row with two games to spare after beating fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 on Saturday to go eight points clear. However, one interesting battle still in the balance is for the all-important third spot. Schalke 04 held on to third place, worth automatic Champions League qualification, despite a 1-1 draw at Augsburg. They sit two points ahead of Moenchengladback with two games to play, but vitally the latter side are set to play two lowly sides in their remaining fixtures. Watch this space.
Italian Serie A
In Italy, Juventus went three points clear at the top of Serie A with five games left by cantering to a 4-0 home win over AS Roma. Second-placed AC Milan dropped two points as Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole a last gasp equalizer against Bologna. Juve have a kind run-in and look nailed on at 1.14, and bearing in mind Milan meet rivals Inter in the penultimate fixture, it’s tough to see the value in them at 5.00.
Spanish La Liga
It was all about the El Clasico in Spain this weekend, and subsequently Real Madrid now have one hand on the La Liga trophy after they triumphed 2-1 at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening. Jose Mourinho’s men have opened up a seven-point gap over Barcelona with just four games to play. But while the title race is to all intents and purposes a closed shop now, there’s still one market that has us on the edge of our swivel chairs. Real’s winner on Saturday came courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 42nd goal of the campaign, and he now leads Lionel Messi by one in the race for the Pichichi award for La Liga’s top marksman. Messi is at a tempting 2.30 but did show hints of fatigue at Stamford Bridge and the Camp Nou last week and will surely be rested at the weekend if Barca prevail against Chelsea in the Champions League tomorrow. Meanwhile imperious Ronny has been a goalscoring machine of late. Get on him at 1.55 while it’s still available..
Ajax are champions elect in Holland after going six points clear with three games to play. There’s drama immediately below the Amsterdam giants, as just one point separates 2nd-5th. AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven make up the chasing pack, all desperately vying for second place, and the automatic Champions League spot that comes with it. Steve McClaren’s FC Twente visit Ajax next time out, while Alkmaar and Feyenoord play each other, leaving PSV – who have an enviable trip to Roda JC – in the best shape. But if Twente were to beat Ajax this coming weekend then they could at least help take the title race to the final day. Take a look at the ‘Will It Happen’ bet, which focuses on whether more than one team will be able to mathematically win the title going into the last matchday. ‘Yes’ is at a mouth-watering 12.00.