Man Utd 1-2 Real Madrid
Billed as the biggest match since… the last time they met 3 weeks ago, you knew there would definitely be some drama in this one.
It is probably quite fair to say the red card changed the match in this one. Manchester United looked to be in control until that point but once the red card arrived you felt there was only going to be one winner from that point.
In hindsight we really should have known a red card would be shown in this match. This same referee has shown 5 red cards to English teams in the Champions League in the past 2 years and that included the red card for John Terry in the Nou Camp last season. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this before kick off as otherwise I would have certainly had some interest in the Red card market. I must be getting slack in my old age!
The in-play markets were certainly interesting with the Match Odds and the “To Qualify” market both getting lots of interest and being quite similar, but yet different, markets.
Man Utd were underdogs and started the match @ 3.10. As mentioned yesterday, this is not something you see every day however, this looked to be a great bet up until the red card and they traded as low as 1.55 for the win. Real Madrid traded as high as 9 in-play in the immediate aftermath of Man Utd taking the lead, but then they could have been backed at 5 once Man Utd went down to 10 men. Even when it went to 1-1, Madrid were available at 2.20.
The “To Qualify” market is always a good market to keep an eye on in these matches at this stage of the season.
Real Madrid were matched as high as 4.20 to qualify and Man Utd went down as low as 1.31. The 1-2 Real Madrid Correct Score was matched @ 18 and, the inevitable, Ronaldo To Score was available @ 2.25 before kick off. Paddy Power were refunding bets if Ronaldo scored so they could not have been too happy with that happening.
The biggest news of all is that Real Madrid are now 3.5 favourites to win the Champions League in May. They were actually matched as high as 13 when they fell behind against Man Utd last night but they are now sitting pretty solid at the front of the market. This will depend hugely on the fate of Barcelona next week as if Barcelona can turn it around and make it through past AC Milan then they will be the favourites once more and you will see a drift on the Real Madrid price.
It looks like we have a strong line up for the final 8 in the Champions League however, it is not likely we will have any English teams in the quarter finals for the first time since 1996. You would have got good odds on that at the start of the season!
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