There can’t be many better ways to end the Premier League season than by turning a £12 stake into £15,366.44 and that is exactly what one player did on Sunday afternoon.
The player decided to tackle the £30,000 Correct Score – Pick 4 pool on Sunday, which comprised of two Premier League fixtures, Liverpool vs. Wolves and Burnley vs. Arsenal, in addition to two from the continent, Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla and Roma vs. Juventus.
As it was the final day of the Premier League, the English fixtures all kicked off at the same time and as such, at 3pm, the first two legs were underway.
The player was confident about how events would unfold at Anfield and made just a single selection, a 2-0 victory to the home side. Sadio Mane opened the scoring within 20 minutes and then found the net again in the closing stages. It secured the Senegalese forward a share of the Golden Boot and our player a victorious opening leg in their ticket.
At Turf Moor things were less clear. With Arsenal’s away form so patchy, it’s tough to know which incarnation of Unai Emery’s men will show up on a weekly basis. As such it was understandable that the player was less confident than at Anfield, making five selections that covered all three eventualities.; AOH, 1-0, 1-1, 0-2, 1-3 & AOA.
It turned out to be the good version of Arsenal. After a goalless opening half, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring for Gunners in the 52nd minute before striking again 11 minutes later. With that he joined Sadio Mane and Mo Salah in a three-way tie for the golden boot.
Ashley Barnes pulled one back in the 65th minute to install some urgency into the ticket. The player needed Arsenal to score again to secure a 1-3 scoreline or twice to land the AOA outcome.
As the minutes ticked on and the match entered injury time, things began to look desperate. However, in the 94th minute salvation arrived from an unlikely source as 20-year-old Eddie Nketiah wriggled into the box before rifling home the ball. The ticket was saved but the opening two results had knocked out 99.5% of the initial 8,064 units, leaving just 44 remaining.
The penultimate leg moved to the Spanish capital, as Atletico Madrid hosted Sevilla. It was another single-selection leg for the player, who clearly felt extremely confident that the sides would play out a 1-1 draw.
After such a nerve-biting finale in the Arsenal match, luckily this proved to be a more straightforward affair. Koke gave the home side the lead in the 30th minute before Pablo Sarabia made honours even in the 70th. There was little more in the way of action and the player had was onto the final leg, Roma vs. Juventus.
Whilst the home side were still fighting to reach the Champions League, the visitors had already won the title. However, with 30 extra points on the board, it was clear that Juventus were the classier side but would that be enough to compensate for a lack of motivation?
The player wasn’t sure and ultimately opted to back both sides to win 2-0. There was nothing between them for large parts of the match and it seemed unlikely that either would score the two required goals.
However, in the 79th minute, Roma broke the deadlock with an Alessandro Florenzi goal leaving the player just over ten minutes to find a second. The Giallorossi couldn’t find it within normal time and, when the fourth official indicated that there would be four added minutes, another mini-miracle was required.
Cometh the hour though, cometh Edin Dzeko. In the 92nd minute the big Bosnian latched onto a low cross and made no mistakes about sliding it into the bottom corner. It was 2-0 and the ticket had won, netting the player a staggering £15,366, 1280x their original stake. Incredible effort!