Manchester United’s win at Stamford Bridge has seen them move into pole position for the Premier League title, despite the fortuitous circumstances in which the victory came about.
The Red Devils can be backed at 11/8 to lift their 13th Premier League crown after a dubious Javier Hernandez winner allowed them to overcome nine-man Chelsea 3-2.
Chelsea, who dominated the game after going two goals down inside 15 minutes, will point to the sending off of Fernando Torres – who received a second yellow for diving, though there appeared to be contact between him and Jonny Evans – and the decision to allow Chicarito’s 75th minute strike to stand, despite the Mexican being a clear half-yard offside as the reason for their loss.
However, Man United’s adventurous set up and quick counter-attacking play caused Chelsea all kinds of problems from the off and allowed them to get into a position where they could take advantage of the Blues’ misfortune.
The hosts’ early advances left ample space at the back and United exploited it brilliantly, with Antonio Valencia, in particular, at his express best down the right-hand side and Robin van Persie exemplifying the technical ability that Sir Alex Ferguson splashed £24m on in the summer.
The win has moved United to within a point of the west Londoners at the Premier League’s summit and was their 11th from 12 games in all competitions.
They’re level on points with reigning champs Man City, yet the gusto with which they’ve been attacking teams in recent weeks, while City have struggled to grind out results, has seen them move to the head of the betting.
It’s difficult to imagine any other side having both the nerve to take the game to Chelsea and the ruthlessness to pull it off, especially given the form which the European champions have been in of late.
Many regarded it as a matter of time before Roberto Di Matteo’s men fell by the title wayside, yet their spirited showing against United to come back from 2-0 down and control the game suggests they may be better suited for a sustained push than people gave them credit for. Their 3/1 to win the league, however, begs to differ.
This price could be put down the upcoming fixtures for Sir Alex’s side. Arsenal visit Old Trafford next, a game which United can be expected to coast due to the re-emergence of the Gunners’ defensive frailties.
Following that, they play five teams in the relegation scrap and could easily find themselves with a nice cushion at the top of the league by the time they head to the Etihad in early December.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date