Ferran Torres’ close-range header into Bernd Leno’s gaping net in the final minutes of Saturday’s early kick-off at the Etihad only compounded Arsenal’s misery. Their fate was sealed long before Manchester City‘s fifth goal rubber-stamped their worst start to a season in 67 years.
The Gunners’ humiliating pummelling at the hands of City, an inevitability from the moment captain Granit Xhaka was sent off in the 35th minute, means Mikel Arteta’s side have lost all three of their Premier League games so far this season. And while the fixture-generating computer dealt them a harsh hand after their shock opening-day defeat to newly promoted Brentford, pairing them with title contenders Chelsea and then City, Arsenal‘s record thus far of nine goals conceded and zero scored is embarrassing.
Arteta is now the odds-on favourite to be the next Premier League manager sacked at 4/9 – the Spanish tactician is available to back at 1.865/6 on the Betfair Exchange Premier League Next Manager To Leave Position market.
What’s more, while Arsenal‘s form will surely eventually improve to some degree, the north Londoners are available to back at just 23.022/1 on the Betfair Exchange Premier League Relegation 2021/22 market.
It is an indictment of Arteta and Arsenal that City were hardly made to break a sweat for their 5-0 victory, but the easy ruthlessness of Pep Guardiola’s champions is a warning to their title rivals. They might have missed out on Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, but they don’t lack at all for firepower, able to distribute the goal-scoring burden around their enviable cast of rapid wide-players, make-shift centre-forwards and technically gifted attacking midfielders.
In such form, City remain favourites to retain their crown. Guardiola’s men are available to back at 2.35/4 in the Betfair Exchange Premier League Winner market.
1-0 to the Tottenham
They might be favourites, but City are not the early frontrunners in the title race. That distinction belongs to Nuno Espirito Santo’s Spurs, the only Premier League team able to cling to a 100% record through the new campaign’s first three rounds of fixtures.
As Arsenal struggle desperately, their north-London rivals are thriving in a manner that was once the Gunners’ calling card - with their single-goal victory over Watford at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, by virtue of Son Heung-min’s free-kick from a wide position bouncing fortuitously in at the far past, Spurs became just the second side in Premier League history to record 1-0 wins in each of their first three games.
Although even the most optimistic of Tottenham fans would counsel against harbouring hopes of a title push this term - a return to the top four is a lofty-enough task for new manager Nuno – Spurs are available to back to become unlikely champions at 34.033/1 in the Exchange Premier League Winner market.
All square at Anfield
There was high drama at Anfield in the weekend’s only meeting between genuine title contenders as Liverpool hosted Chelsea. Kai Havertz’s superb, delicately angled headed opener was cancelled out when Mohamed Salah rifled in a penalty in first-half stoppage time after Reece James was red-carded when a VAR review adjudged that he’d handled on the line to prevent a certain goal during a thrilling goal-line scramble.
That handed - no pun intended - Liverpool the impetus to push for a winner, but Thomas Tuchel’s side defended resolutely, largely limiting the home team to pot-shots from distance. While both managers would likely have been content if offered a share of the points ahead of the game, the Blues’ ability to overcome the adversity of a one-man disadvantage will have left them feeling like victors.
And, crucially, as second and third favourites in the title chase, both sides maintain a one-point advantage over reigning champions City. Chelsea are available to back at 3.8514/5 in the Betfair Exchange Premier League Winner Market, while Liverpool can be backed at 6.25/1.
In the week they stole global headlines by re-signing Ronaldo, the fourth favourites in the title stakes, Manchester United, set a top-flight record for an unbeaten away streak on Sunday afternoon.
They were made to toil for their 1-0 victory over Wolves, but United are now undefeated in 28 straight away matches. Nineteen-year-old Mason Greenwood, the player whose regular first-team minutes are perhaps most threatened by Ronaldo‘s return, scored his third goal of the season. United are available to back at 7.06/1 in the Exchange Premier League Winner Market.
That defeat left Wolves still searching for their first league win under new manager Bruno Lage. The Black Country side are one of three clubs, alongside Arsenal and relegation favourites Norwich City, still pointless in 2021/22. Wolves are available to back at 5.85/1 in the Betfair Exchange Premier League Relegation Market.