Ranking the 5 biggest upsets of the Premier League season
Based on the odds for each outcome, we reveal the five unlikeliest results in the Premier League this season.
On Monday, we will reveal our alternative Premier League table, revealing the profitability of backing each team to win every match.
Before then, there is a title to decide. You might think that Manchester City have it wrapped up, but these are the matches from this season that offer Liverpool some hope.
5) Tottenham 1-3 Wolves (29/12/2018) – Wolves were 7/1 to win
Wolves now have an established reputation for upsetting the odds.
But, having held Man City, Man United and Arsenal to draws before beating Chelsea at the start of December, it was this result at Wembley on 29 December that cemented their status.
Tottenham’s short price was justified. They had scored 11 goals in their previous two games and, when Kane belted in a 25-yard opener, it seemed to be business as usual.
But as the hosts’ tired, Wolves smelt blood.
Three second-half goals, the second an exquisite finish from Raul Jimenez, saw the visitors take their points tally against the top six to nine.
Arsenal and Manchester United were subsequently turned over by Nuno’s side, but our traders had learnt their lesson by then.
4) Leicester 2-1 Man City (26/12/2018) – Leicester were 8/1 to win
There was a point when Manchester City (and Liverpool, for that matter) occasionally used to fail to win Premier League football matches.
City actually lost four in an awkward seven-week period in December and January, with this the first of three to chart in the top five upsets of the season.
Crystal Palace had won 3-2 at the Etihad just four days earlier (more on that later), so Pep Guardiola’s side were vulnerable heading to the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.
Still, not many expected this, particularly when Bernardo Silva gave the visitors the lead inside 15 minutes. But a Marc Albrighton equaliser and brilliant Ricardo Pereira winner did the damage.
The champions were unusually toothless, but the malaise didn’t last long. They have dropped points just once since.
3) Chelsea 0-1 Leicester (22/12/2018) – Leicester were 9/1 to win
To execute one of these upsets, a team requires a few vital ingredients.
A steady, patient backline, that can keep its shape and maintain concentration. Solid holding midfielders, who can spot danger and intercept threatening through balls.
A skilful attacking midfielder, who can turn defence into attack with a dazzling piece of skill or threaded pass on the rare occasion that they get the opportunity. A hard-working forward, to pen back opposition defenders and exploit space on the counter-attack.
It is no surprise, then, that Leicester – featuring Harry Maguire, Wilfried Ndidi, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy – feature on this list for the second time.
The defence and midfield were the unsung heroes, while Maddison teed up Vardy for the only goal of the game as the Foxes pinched victory at Stamford Bridge.
2) Newcastle 2-1 Manchester City (29/01/2019) – Newcastle were 14/1 to win
For a near-flawless side, City made a hash of things fairly often around the turn of the year.
Their skinny price to win was understandable, and the game did largely pan out as expected.
Sergio Aguero had them in front inside 60 seconds, and for the following 65 minutes another goal felt close. But Newcastle rode their luck, and were ultimately rewarded as the visitors became sloppy.
Salomon Rondon scored from the hosts’ second meaningful attack, before Sean Longstaff pounced upon Fernandinho’s dilly-dallying to win a decisive 80th-minute penalty.
A classic rearguard followed – featuring panicked blocks, saves and clearances – to give this one the feel of a classic FA Cup upset, rather than one Premier League team beating another.
The difference was, even most cup shocks aren’t 14/1 shots.
1) Manchester City 2-3 Crystal Palace (22/12/2018) – Palace were 18/1 to win
So to the biggest upset of the 2018/19 season, and the victims were – yep, you guessed it – Manchester City.
This was the first of the upsets detailed in this countdown to happen, but followed a similar pattern to all the others.
Once again, City scored the first goal of the game. Ilkay Gundogan this time putting them into what most believed was a safe 1-0 lead, until Jeffrey Schlupp soon equalised.
Roy Hodgson later described this win as “one of those bonanza days”, but he might have used the same adjective to describe Andros Townsend’s goal to make it 2-1 – a stunning long-range volley that will likely win the Premier League goal of the season .
By that stage, City – and the rest of the Etihad Stadium – seemed frozen by fear, so it came as less of a surprise when Luka Milivojevic dispatched a penalty to make it 3-1 just after half-time.
Kevin de Bruyne’s late consolation was not enough to save his side’s 100 per cent home record. It is a mark of how seismic this shock was that it would remain the only blot on an otherwise perfect formbook at the Etihad.
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