Manuel Pellegrini’s men failed to get the better of Gus Poyet’s struggling side and have seen their title odds pushed out as Chelsea and Liverpool shorten in the betting
Black Cats are seen as symbols of bad luck in some circles and that certainly seems to be the case in the blue half of Manchester.
A team having a so-called “bogey-side” is a common concept in football but Sunderland’s recent record over Manchester City in the Premier League is surely one of the most curious.
Gus Poyet’s men were able to overcome the significant odds once again on Wednesday night, securing a draw which was priced at around 7/1 (8.0) by the bookmakers and the visitors were just a few minutes away from completing a 20/1 (21.0) victory.
City took an early lead through Fernandinho but a quick-fire second-half double from Connor Wickham put Sunderland in front before a Vito Mannone error gifted the home side a point.
That result has seen bet365 push Manchester City out to 6/1 (7.0) to regain their Premier League crown with Liverpool now just 8/15 (1.57) to secure a first title in 24 years. Chelsea have also been clipped to 11/4 (3.75) by the bookmakers after Wednesday’s result.
It is not the first time that a game against Sunderland has dented Manchester City’s title ambitions in recent years. Despite a significant gap in terms of finances and final league positions in the last few seasons, the Black Cats have often proved a thorn in the side for City.
Despite that record the visitors came into this match on a run of five consecutive losses having picked up just one point in their last eight Premier League matches, so many could have been forgiven for expecting the 1/7 (1.14) favourites to oblige and buck that trend but Poyet’s men dealt what could be a decisive blow to City’s title challenge.
In their last nine Premier League meetings, City have now taken maximum points just twice, with Sunderland winning four of those encounters and Wednesday’s result proved even more crucial because it was one of the home side’s two games in hand, in which they were expected to significantly reduce the gap on leaders Liverpool – possibly to as little as a solitary point – if they had taken the potential six points on offer.
With the Reds now on a run of 10 consecutive victories following their 3-2 win over Pellegrini’s side the market and the bookmakers are certainly starting to believe that this could be the year of a very poignant title win that would see the Premier League trophy on Merseyside for the first time in almost a quarter of a century.
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