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An extraordinary week in football betting history

What. A. Week.
What. A. Week.

It’s been a year since we were blessed with one of the most extraordinary week’s in recent football history. The week which saw Vincent Kompany score an unbelievably out-of-character screamer to beat Leicester 1-0 at the Etihad - a goal which pretty much won Manchester City the title. 

Then, Liverpool defy the betting odds to make it through to their second consecutive Champions League final, overturning a three-goal deficit against Barcelona at Anfield to win 4-0. If that wasn’t enough, Tottenham round proceedings off by providing one of the biggest shocks in European Cup history by beating Ajax 3-2 away from home, after initially finding themselves 3-0 down on aggregate with just 45 minutes left to play.

Here’s how it all unfolded.

Kompany saves City with a stunning long-range strike

When people talk about Vincent Kompany, they rarely speak about the Belgian’s shooting ability. Instead, the former Manchester City man draws compliments for his defensive nous; the way in which he can read the game, his extensive leadership qualities and his ability in the tackle. But, as we saw exactly one year ago, there was more to Kompany’s game than his obvious defensive talents, he just decided to wait until he was about to retire and leave England to show us all. 

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Manchester City’s battle with Liverpool for last season’s Premier League title was well documented. The two most exciting sides in the world fought toe-to-toe all season long, with it almost impossible to tell who would reign victorious by the end of the campaign thanks to both sides’ remarkable consistency. City were typically flawless last season and were enjoying a sensational 12-match winning streak when Leicester came to visit last May, but the Foxes had high hopes of spoiling the party.

They looked as though they had done so for the most-part of the encounter, too, defending rigorously to shut out Pep Guardiola’s usually so dominant outfit. At half-time, with the scoreline stood at 0-0, bookmakers gave City a 71.4% chance of winning the title, while Liverpool's odds of 15/8 saw their chances of title success handed a probability of 34.8%.

On the 70th minute, City’s talismanic skipper picked up the ball and carried it towards the edge of his opponents’ box. In unchartered territory, most were awaiting the Belgian’s presumed short, safe pass to a more creative, attack-minded player; but he had other ideas. 

Eyes firmly lit up, with a clear pathway ahead of him due to none of the Leicester players expecting him to do what he did next, Kompany unleashed an absolute peach of a shot, which arrowed past Kasper Schmeichel and into the top corner of the net: 1-0, game set and match. City went on to pip Liverpool to the title by a single point, and Kompany departed the club an even bigger legend than he was hailed as before. Take a bow, Vinny.

Liverpool beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield

It is one of the biggest turnarounds in Champions League history. Liverpool were seemingly down and out after the first-leg of their semi-final tie against Barcelona, trailing the Catalans 3-0 heading into the return leg at Anfield. Divock Origi’s seventh minute goal gave the hosts a glimmer of hope, but Barca still took a two-goal lead into the break which meant that the Reds had their work cut out to make it through to the final. 

Whatever Jurgen Klopp said to his players at half-time had the desired effect, however, as Liverpool burst out of the blocks in emphatic style. Giorginio Wijnaldum then struck twice in the space of two minutes to set up an enthralling end to the tie, before Origi latched on to some quick thinking by Trent Alexander-Arnold from a corner to notch his second of the evening and send Liverpool through to the final, where they would go on to be crowned Champions League winners after a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. 

An incredible evening at Anfield, and one which will certainly go down in the history books as one of the great turnarounds the competition has ever seen. The Reds were priced at 18/1 to qualify for the final before kick-off - that’s an implied probability of just 5.3%! 

One lucky Liverpool supporter actually pocketed £1,120 after placing an audacious £5 FGS and correct score bet on Origi to net first and the Reds to win 4-0. Supermarket worker Carl Green credits the fortunate winner down to his unborn baby kicking in his partner's stomach when he mentioned the name Divock Origi prior to kick off, making the night even more memorable.

Spurs come from two goals behind to beat Ajax 3-2

Anything you can do, we can do better. If one miraculous comeback wasn’t enough, the very next evening Tottenham provided their own huge upset by turning around a seemingly impossible deficit to book their spot against Liverpool in the final of the Champions League. After a 1-0 first-leg defeat on home soil, the Harry Kane-less north Londoners travelled to Holland with it all to do. 

If the tie hadn’t looked beyond reach prior to kick-off, it certainly did at half-time. Goals from Ajax defender Matthjis de Ligt and midfielder Hakem Ziyech had given the hosts a healthy three-goal lead on aggregate. Spurs looked to have nothing but pride left to play for, and the Dutchmen appeared to be heading through to the final. Indeed, Lucas Moura had other ideas, and much like Giorginio Wijnaldum had done for Liverpool the night before, the Brazilian fired home two goals in quick succession (55th and 59th minute) to reignite Tottenham’s chances of qualification. 

With the match nearing its conclusion, a mazy run from the undisputed Man of the Match, Moura, resulted in a 96th minute winner for the visitors. Elation rang true in the away end of the Johan Cruyff Arena, with the onlooker at home left flabbergasted at the events that had just unfolded throughout the previous 45 minutes of exhilarating action.

Spurs were 25/1 to go on and win the match at half-time, while their odds drifted to as high as 80/1 to claim the victory as the clock ticked past 90 minutes. The correct score prior to kick-off was priced at 33/1 - meaning there was an implied probability of just 2.9% for the clash to end 3-2 in favour of the visitors. 

A double of Liverpool to qualify and Tottenham just to win was priced at a whopping 67/1, if you had this bet last year - or something similar - please let us know by Tweeting us @BettingOddsUK!  

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