Manchester City booed off after draw with struggling Birmingham
After days of criticism for a perceived negative approach following a dour goalless draw in the Manchester derby, the last thing Roberto Mancini and Manchester City needed was another stalemate, however that’s what they got against Birmingham.
The Citizens boss had said in his pre-match press conference that he’d be quite happy for the season to end now with his team in fourth but despite being on course to meet the targets he was set, the home fans at Eastlands were far from happy.
There were jeers for the decision to take captain Carlos Tevez, scorer of almost half the club’s Premier League goals this season, off for Gareth Barry as they chased a winner and the boos were even louder come the final whistle, as Manchester City drifted to 20/1 to finish first.
They remain three points clear of Bolton and Tottenham – both weekend winners – in fourth, yet the perhaps over-the-top criticism of the Italian has potential to grow even louder next week if things go wrong when the big spenders visit former boss Mark Hughes’ Fulham.
Elsewhere, another side who were starting to once again be mentioned as potential Champions League qualifiers, Liverpool, had their six-match unbeaten run in all competitions brought to an abrupt end by Stoke, who are out to 8/1 to be relegated after successive wins.
Blackpool remain the 1/2 favourites for the drop despite looking the more likely victors in a goalless draw away to bottom club West Ham, who worryingly appear to lack in quality rather than effort, and saw one of their few potential game-changers Kieron Dyer depart early on with an injury.
West Ham are 4/5 to go down. See the full Barclays Premier League football betting odds here.