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Who to blame for your busted weekend accums

by Rob Dore | February 4, 2013
(pic: Inpho)

(pic: Inpho)

by Rob Dore

With Aidan absent today it has been laid upon my shoulders to remind you of some of the high-profile odds-on selections which failed you over the weekend.

France – 1/10

Opposition: Italy in Rome (Six Nations)

What went wrong?
Before Sunday’s trip to Rome France were 2/1 to win this year’s Six Nations and right up until kick-off they remained just 11/2 to win the Grand Slam. One of those outcomes is firmly off the table, the other seems rather unlikely after their showing against Italy.

France boasted of  a dominant 31-2 head-to-head record against Italy prior to this game. Although they had lost 21-22 on their last visit to Rome, talk of a repeat was instigated to nullify the gods of the  jinx not because it was believed to be a possibility.

Italy took the lead with Sergio Parisse’s try but France hit back when Benjamin Fall touched down. Italy continued to battle but ten minutes in to the second half France led 18-13 and were on the verge of stretching their lead and putting the game to bed. They didn’t

Instead Italy defended as though Mama’s secret bolognese recipe was on the line and as France ran out of attacking ideas Castrogiovanni powered over the line and Orquera’s conversion saw Italy take a lead they would not relinquish. Les Bleus poured forward but the Italians stood firm for a famous victory which no doubt nobbled it’s fair share of weekend accumulators.

Barcelona 1/2

Opposition: Valencia in the Mestalla (La Liga)

What went wrong?
You can’t win all the time. This sounds like a pearl of wisdom from a parent who wishes to temper the expectations of a child to avoid disappointment later in life when the reality of the world comes crashing through their dreams. The Barcelona backer and the expectant child are no different. Both presume things are going to go the way they expect them too. When it comes to the Spanish football side they invariably do. Just not this weekend.

Their intensity made it difficult for us to play our game and it was hard for us to get close to their area. Perhaps we didn’t create a lot of chances and we weren’t as fresh as we have been in the past. – Barcelona asst coach Jordi Roura

Barcelona don’t have the deepest squad in European football. As we saw on a more regular basis last season this can lead to fatigue and some lacklustre performances . Valencia put in a high-intensity shift and a tired Barcelona side, which was feeling the effects of their midweek Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid,  struggled to get a grip on the game. Ever Banega gave the home side the lead on 33 mintues but Messi equalised from the spot five minutes later. Valencia continued to press but some fine saves from Vitor Valdes secured a draw for Barcelona. Which probably doesn’t do you accum much good.

Manchester City 17/20

Opposition: Liverpool in the Etihad Stadium (Premier League)

What went wrong?
Liverpool played a lot better than many people were expecting. Manchester City lacked control in the middle of the field, clearly missing the presence of the Yaya Toure who has yet to return from African Cup of Nations duty with the Ivory Coast.  Although both Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko scored they  struggled to trouble a Liverpool defence which has amazingly been improved by the reintroduction of the ageing Jamie Carragher.

City took the lead through a well worked Dzeko goal after 23 minutes but Former player Daniel Sturridge struck back six minutes later. Steven Gerrard added a long-range cracker of his own in the second half and the visitors looked comfortably in control of the game.  Sergio Aguero equalised with a wonderful finish after a Pepe Reina error but Liverpool remained the side most likely to score.

After this bet busting draw City’s title challenge and position as weekly bankers needs some serious reconsideration.

Real Madrid City 17/20

Opposition: Granada in Los Cármenes (La Liga)

What went wrong?
Although away from home Real Madrid were 1/3 bankers to beat Granada, a team which sits on the cusp of the relegation zone. However the La Liga champions are simply having a woeful season by their standards, already losing five games, and sit a full sixteen points behind table toppers Barcelona.

This being said they were still heavily backed to win this game. The goals of Ronaldo would see them through. In the end Cristiano Ronaldo did score but for once it was at the wrong end. His own-goal combined with a disjointed display saw Los Blancos flounder against a resolute Granada without ever really looking like breaking them down.

Your accumulator may have been ruined but Real’s poor form combined with Rafa Benitez’ inability to provide immediate success at Stamford Bridge could see the Special One returning to the big show. Is that not worth it?

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