With eight pinpoint predictions, Funalex finished returned 590 points in Round 9, 73 points ahead of his closest challenger. Even the surprise postponement for Paris St. Germain-Marseille did little to dent the USA Predictor's strong showing.
With an 80 per cent prediction accuracy runner up deagueros19 matched the round winner for pace, but faltered in the bonus points challenge. deagueros19 expected a tighter affair at Anfield than the 2-0 result and a single Manchester United goal would have given him the prize.
Just when everyone was backing Liverpool to crumble, the Anfield side turned on the magic, outmuscling Manchester United in a 2-0 win that has reignited the Premier League title race. Benitez backers earned 70 points for their upset.
The deadlock in Croatia's Dinamo Zagreb-Cibalia encounter (87 points) ensured a status quo at the top of the league table. Meanwhile in Slovakia, Slovan Bratislava moved into second place after scraping a point at home against Spartak Trnava (84 points). In Cyprus, Omonia Nicosia dispatched Apollon Limassol with a 1-0 win pushing them into second place (81 points).
Elsewhere in world football, it was business as usual for a number of favourites. Alajuelense dented Cartagines' playoff hopes (26 points), in form Internacional defeated Gremio (36 points) to claim the Grenal derby and FC Seoul severely hurt Incheon United's playoff hopes thanks to a 76th minute surprise by Lee Seung-Ryeol (41 points).
While many thought Hoiman17 would be the predictor to knock Pablo.D.C. from the summit, it was in fact last week's number three that supplanted the leader. CTID77 leapfrogged the top two predictors to snatch first place. Round 9 marks the third consecutive round in which the new No1 has returned over three hundred points.
Round 10 (31 October and 1 November)
Hapoel Tel Aviv-Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
Shenzhen-Henan Jianye (China PR)
Arsenal-Tottenham Hotspur (England)
Kaizer Chiefs-Orlando Pirates (South Africa)
AC Milan-Parma (Italy)
Universidad de Chile-Universidad Catolica (Chile)
Cruz Azul-Atlante (Mexico)
SK Liepajas Metalurgs-FK Ventspils (Latvia)
Penarol - Defensor (Uruguay)