As the Premier League’s representatives in Europa League action laboured to mediocre-at-best results in the first legs of the last-32 ties, the irresistable Spanish delegate laid waste to helpless opposition.
The La Liga outfits left in the competition – Valencia, Villarreal, Sevilla and Atheltic Bilbao – all established advantages in their respective matches, winning by a combined margin of 11-0.
Still, despite this dominance, only one of these teams can be found anywhere near the forefront of the outright betting to lift the Europa League trophy this term.
Perennial winners of the competition Sevilla, who cruised to a 3-0 win over Molde, are by some distance second favourites, available to back at 10/1 behind Borussia Dortmund at 9/2.
Liverpool and Napoli are sandwiched between Los Rojiblancos and the next Spanish side in the betting, 14/1-rated Valencia.
Underlining the ridiculous over-appreciation of English clubs in this market is the fact that Los Che, 6-0 winners against Rapid Vienna last night, can be backed at the same price as Manchester United, who trail Danish minnows Midtyjlland 2-1 following their first-leg fixture.
Liverpool (11/1) and Spurs (14/1) are in slightly better positions after drawing with Augsburg and Fiorentina 0-0 and 1-1 respectively.
While their fixtures were certainly tougher than Man Utd’s, they failed to assert their obvious superiority over their weaker opponents and this is what makes their spots at the forefront of the betting difficult to justify.
All the English outfits are shorter than Athletic Bilbao (16/1), who took command of their tie with Marseille thanks to a 1-0 win at the Velodrome, with veteran striker Aritz Aduriz belting home an outrageous 30-yard volley to seal the win.
The largest odds of all the Spanish sides are attributed to Villarreal, who inflicted just the fourth defeat on Serie A heavyweights Napoli since the opening weekend of the season to claim a 1-0 first-leg lead. This was arguably the most impressive all the results, yet El Submarino Amarillo weigh in at 22/1 to claim the crown.
Yes there are some sizeable prices indeed and, considering seven of the previous 12 champions played their football in La Liga, it must be worth backing one of them.