This past EPL weekend was one that began with a slight shock that then triggered a seismic quake that had sports bookmakers jumping for joy all around the world. Every sports book from every corner of the globe was facing a decently-sized unwanted payout at the end of the 2019-20 EPL season, but thanks to a shock result, can how hang on to the money they were due to dish out instead.
The seeds were sown at on Friday night when In the EPL, bottom-of-the-table Norwich City took on Champions League-bound Leicester City at Carrow Road in Norwich. The Canaries (as Norwich are nicknamed) had won once in their last thirteen games, and had lost eight times during this terrible run. Leicester themselves were going through a bad patch, having only won once in six games, but were still expected to brush aside Norwich.
Norwich City did not read the script. On 70 minutes defender Jamal Lewis poked home to send the Carrow Road faithful into raptures. The team in yellow held on to record a deserved and much-needed three points.
If the Norwich win was a shock, was happened the next day was earth-shattering
This shock though was nothing to what happened on Saturday. The all-conquering Liverpool were up to visit Vicarage Road to take on lowly, relegation-haunted Watford. Liverpool were on the kind of run that only happens once in a lifetime. Unbeaten all season, Liverpool had won their previous 18 games, and were only one game short of setting a brand-new record for the English Premier League. The side was doing so well in the EPL at the time that there were a mammoth 22 points clear in the EPL having won 26 and drawn one of their games so far.
Watford were on a stumbling run themselves, they hadn’t won for five games and had taken only two points from a possible 15. New manager Nigel Pearson had done well for the first month or so he had been in charge – winning four games out of five on one spell – but has just seen his team lose 3-0 at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
No one thought that Watford had a prayer. As had become the norm every time Liverpool played, bookies reeled in dismay as thousands of pounds were placed on Liverpool to win yet another game and to keep their winning run intact, while setting that new EPL record.
It was a case of no goals all at half time at Vicarage Road
The teams went in at half time after a lacklustre 45 minutes. Even the notoriously boisterous Liverpool fans – famed for singing ‘We’re gonna win the league’ as early as October – seemed nervous. Their side, which includes talents such as Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Virgil Van Dijk, seemed oddly out of sorts.
The unbelievable happened on 54 minutes when midfielder Ismaila Sarr netted for Watford, striking the ball cleanly past Alisson whom was guarding the Liverpool net. Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp barely had time to get used to the idea that his all-conquering team were behind before Sarr popped up again to send the Hornets up 2-0.
Klopp took off under-performing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum and replaced them with Adam Lallana and Divock Origi. It changed nothing and indeed things became even worse with Sarr providing the assist for Watford skipper Troy Deeney to put them 3-0 up.
Liverpool’s run comes to a crashing end:
Oct 27 v Tottenham (h) W 2-1 Henderson, Salah
Nov 2 v Aston Villa (a) W 2-1 Robertson, Mane
Nov 10 v Manchester C (h) W 3-1 Fabinho, Salah, Mane
Nov 23 v Crystal Palace (a) W 2-1 Mane, Firmino
Nov 30 v Brighton (h) W 2-1 Van Dijk 2
Dec 4 v Everton (h) W 5-2 Origi 2, Shaqiri, Mane, Wijnaldum
Dec 7 v Bournemouth (a) W 3-0 Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Salah
Dec 14 v Watford (h) W 2-0 Salah 2
Dec 26 v Leicester (a) W 4-0 Firmino, Milner (p), Firmino, Alexander-Arnold
Dec 29 v Wolves (h) W 1-0 Lallana
Jan 2 v Sheffield U (h) W 2-0 Salah, Mane
Jan 11 v Tottenham (a) W 1-0 Firmino
Jan 19 v Manchester U (h) W 2-0 Van Dijk, Salah
Jan 23 v Wolves (a) W 2-1 Henderson, Firmino
Jan 29 v West Ham (a) W 2-0 Salah (p), Oxlade-Chamberlain
Feb 1 v Southampton (h) W 4-0 Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Salah 2
Feb 15 v Norwich (a) W 1-0 Mane
Feb 24 v West Ham (h) W 3-2 Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane
Feb 29 v Watford (a) L 0-3
It was too much for Liverpool, and the game finished as an unbelievable 3-0 defeat. Liverpool fans cried tears into their beers while bookmakers up and down the UK and all around the world celebrated wildly into the night.
Not only could the bookies cash in on all the money that had been placed on Liverpool to win the game, but they could also cash in on all the money that had been placed on long term bets involving the Anfield side. These included bets on Liverpool to win all their remaining games, bets on Liverpool to remain unbeaten throughout the season, bets on Liverpool beating Manchester City’s record of 18 successive EPL wins, and bets on Liverpool beating Arsenal’s EPL record of 49 games without defeat (Liverpool having last lost in the EPL on 3 January 2019, 45 games ago).
Punters who plumped for Liverpool as EPL winners at the start of the season should still see their bets hold, as to lose their lead at this stage of the season Liverpool would have to lose eight of their remaining ten games.
Liverpool’s defeat was not bad news for every sports bettor, though. According to Betfred they had one punter put £4 on Watford to win 3-0 and for Ismaila Sarr to score first. That lucky chap took home £684 as a result.
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Ari Waknine was born in Brooklyn, New York and was the founder of iGamble Group, an online gaming critique firm that helps players pick online gambling websites that fit their profile, as well as, helping them to increase their winnings. He is also the founder of NewCasinos.org, and is strictly focusing on this project making stronger and better than ever.