Sir Alex Ferguson’s men edged it 3-2 at Stamford Bridge after the league leaders were reduced to nine men following the dismissal of Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres but the latter’s red card looked a touch harsh while Javier Hernandez appeared to be in an offside position as he struck the winner for United.
Nevertheless, bookies were sufficiently impressed by the victory to install Ferguson’s charges as favourites, with the beaten Blues slipping out to 3/1 at Ladbrokes to clinch top spot.
Champions Manchester City are now 15/8 second favourites via Paddy Power to retain the trophy in the wake of their 1-0 success over Swansea and bet365 make Arsenal a 20/1 shot even though they got back to winning ways against QPR.
An equallly eventful Merseyside derby finished two-apiece, meaning Everton and Liverpool are 15/2 and 17/2 respectively courtesy of Ladbrokes to finish in the top four while the same firm are locked on 5/6 apiece in a league position match bet.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes told Betrescue: “United’s win was enough for them to assume title favouritism. As for the Merseyside teams, for the first time we simply can’t split them.”
Ladbrokes latest betting
Premier League winner
Manchester United 11/8
Manchester City 13/8
Premier League relegation
Aston Villa 7/4
Next Premier League manager to leave post
Mark Hughes 11/10
Nigel Adkins 6/4
Roberto Mancini 9/1
League match bet