English Premier League
Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United (Sunday 4pm)
The hosts scoring inside of the first minute completely eradicated any preconceptions of this game, with our suggestion that the safest bet here was for Mourinho to repeat his trick from Anfield being blown out of the water immediately. As soon as United fell behind it looked like a huge ask for them to find a way back, especially with Chelsea buoyant and the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge driving the team on. Conte’s switch to 3-4-3 is paying huge dividends, with the Moses/Pedro combination again working to good effect and ensuring that Blind had a very long afternoon in West London.
Mourinho still ensured that the headlines would be about him instead of his team’s performance with a mid-handshake berating of his opposite number, but ultimately his side were shown up for the limited unit that they are when not able to deploy a rigid gameplan. Chelsea were clear and deserved winners, with great finishing meaning the scoreline flattered them a little, our analyst pegging a 3-1 as the more realistic outcome. Still, whichever way you slice it there was no way this was an under 2.25 game or an unfortunate loss on a +0.25 handicap for the away side.
Italian Serie A
Milan 1-0 Juventus (Saturday 7.45pm)
Thankfully things get better for us from here on out, with our lean towards Milan +0.75 and the under 2.5 line paying dividends in the big Serie A game of the weekend. A revitalised home side with Bacca returning always looked a tough proposition for a Juventus team currently grinding out results rather than winning with fluid football, and so it proved. Milan had more in their favour outside of these factors pre-match too, with a free week to prepare while Juve were labouring to a 0-1 Champions League victory in Lyon.
It took a goal from a low quality chance to snatch this one, with Locatelli’s unstoppable effort beating Buffon and going in off the underside of the crossbar, meaning a 0-0 would probably have been the true Fair Score. The only chance with an average conversion rate of ~25% or more in the entire game fell to the visitors, with Dybala striking tamely at Donnarumma early on, and outside of that it was a cagey affair with defences well and truly on top.
Spanish Primera Division
Sevilla 1-0 Atletico Madrid (Sunday 3.15pm)
Both teams did indeed name their best elevens and it was as close as we expected, with Sevilla snatching it but our Fair Score pegging it as a 1-1 draw by full-time. In reality our suggestion of going with the under 2.25 as the solitary bet garnered a full win, but we should have only taken a half on the actual balance of play. The under 2.5 was available for 1.84 on Friday night, though, which would have been our true preference.
In terms of the match itself, Sevilla had more of the play but the chances were split almost perfectly even, with the hosts having two great to the visitors’ one great and two very good. Koke’s late red card dampened the possibility of a comeback, though Godin did miss one of the aforementioned very good chances in the final act, with Sergio Rico saving right on the line.
Feyenoord 1-1 Ajax (Sunday 1.30pm)
A fascinating tactical battle between the two form teams in the Eredivisie unfolded in De Kuip, with Ajax just about doing enough to earn the point despite Feyenoord piling on the pressure after going behind in the second half. Before the match we said we would steer well clear of the -0.25 handicap on Feyenoord if the in-form Schöne passed fit for the visitors, and it probably proved a good decision to keep out of things altogether given that the actual score and Fair Score were both 1-1. There was nothing to separate the two, as expected, which meant that Feyenoord lost their perfect league record at the tenth time of asking and Ajax were undoubtedly the happier of the two sides with the result.
French Ligue 1
PSG 0-0 Olympique Marseille (Sunday 7.45pm)
PSG seem to live or die by Edinson Cavani’s finishing this season, with the Uruguayan’s profligacy in front of goal meaning that they drew 0-0 in a game where our Fair Score believed they should have won 2-0. Marseille had absolutely no chances at all, not even a poor one, and so it is impossible to make a case for them taking anything. Still, our pick of over 3 goals was off because we simply did not expect the visitors to be quite so defensive against their big rivals. However, we do have a bone to pick with old Edinson…
Ones to Watch
United States MLS
LA Galaxy 0-0 Dallas / Colorado Rapids 1-1 Houston Dynamo (Sunday 9pm)
Dallas’ deserved draw with Galaxy meant that Colorado needed a significant win to topple them in the Western Conference, but although the Rapids pushed very hard against Houston a one-goal victory was all our Fair Score could justify for them.
Brann 2-1 Molde (Saturday 5pm)
Molde were unfortunate to leave empty-handed here, but a draw was the most that they deserved according to our analyst.
Rapid Wien 0-2 Austria Wien (Sunday 3.30pm)
Something of a smash and grab from the away side, with Rapid having enough chances of quality to have drawn.
Greek Super League
Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1 PAOK (Sunday 6.30pm)
Fair Score believes PAOK should still be unbeaten this season, with Olympiakos needing 11 minutes of added time to win.
Swiss Super League
Lausanne Sport 0-2 Sion (Sunday 3pm)
Sion’s great form continued here, with Luzern second best throughout and not being helped by all of their significant absences.