Weekend Talking Points: Watford end Liverpool’s unbeaten run & Manchester City win Carabao Cup
Drew Goodsell | 2 March 2020
Plus, another twist in the La Liga title race
Another huge weekend of sport is done and dusted, including thrilling action in the Premier League, Carabao Cup, women’s T20 World Cup and more.
But where else to start this week other than Vicarage Road, where a Nigel Pearson tactical masterclass helped Watford end Liverpool’s 44-game unbeaten run…
Watford’s stunning second-half display stops Liverpool’s 18-game winning streak
Not many saw that coming, did they? In December 2015, Watford beat Liverpool 3-0 at Vicarage Road, under very different circumstances.
Fast forward almost five years, and it’s happened again. This time, Nigel Pearson led his Watford side to nullify the Liverpool express train, unbeaten in 44 Premier League matches, with their last league defeat coming against Manchester City on 3 January 2019, 422 days previous.
A stalemate at half-time, many expected Liverpool to come out second half and bag another win against a side 19th in the table. But Ismaila Sarr had other ideas, scoring twice and assisting captain Troy Deeney for a third in a convincing 3-0 win. They’re now 11/4 to go down this season.
Defeat for Liverpool means Arsenal Invincibles and their 49-match unbeaten run remains as the longest in Premier League history, and they will remain the only side to see out a campaign without tasting defeat for another season.
Manchester City win Carabao Cup for third-straight season
Competing for the first piece of silverware in the 2019/20 season, Aston Villa and Manchester City played under the Wembley arch looking to win the Carabao Cup. For Villa, it would be been their sixth win and a first since 1995/96, with City looking for their seventh and third on the bounce.
City came out on top again, which means the last time they didn’t have the Carabao Cup in their trophy cabinet was Saturday 24th February 2018.
Sergio Agüero’s 20th-minute strike, followed closely by a bullet header in the 30th from Rodri left City 2-0 up and looking at a dominant performance. But Mbwana Samatta headed in just before half-time to give the Villans life.
A late Claudio Bravo save, tipping a Bjorn Engels header onto the post kept Villa out, and meant Pep Guardiola’s side claimed their fourth Carabao Cup win in five seasons. They’re also 13/5 favourites for the Champions League.
Real Madrid claim victory over Barcelona in El Clasico
Two points behind Barcelona with 13 league matches to go heading into El Clasico on Sunday, Zinedine Zidane was looking for his first league win over Barcelona since April 2016.
Despite Gerard Pique claiming Barcelona controlled the game in the first half, the Catalan side failed to take their chances, which they were made to pay for in the second half as Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz netted to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win at the Bernabeu.
The win leaves Zidane’s men one point above Barcelona with 12 games left. We’ve got Los Blancos as 8/13 favourite to win La Liga after this weekend, with Barcelona out at 6/5.
England beat West Indies to reach T20 World Cup semis
England have reached the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-finals after beating West Indies by 46 runs in their final group game in Sydney.
The team were led by a batting masterclass from Natalie Sciver, who reached a knock of 57 from 56 balls, with Danielle Wyatt hitting 29. And with the ball, Sophie Ecclestone claimed three wickets for just seven runs, with Sarah Glenn picking up two wickets.
They’ll be joined in the semi-finals by hosts Australia, India and South Africa, with matches taking place at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday 5th March.
Maximum Security wins the Inaugural Saudi Cup
It’s the world’s most valuable race, with prize money of $20m (£15.5m). And in it’s first running, Luis Saez rode Maximum Security to victory in front of around 10,000 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
It was redemption for the 4-year-old colt, who had previously been disqualified in the Kentucky Derby back in May 2019 for impeding other horses.
The US-trained favourite stormed to the front of the pack with half a furlong remaining, before ultimately beating Midnight Bisou by just under a length.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.