Five moments that defined Leicester’s Premier League title-winning season
They’ll tell the tale of Leicester City’s title win for years, decades, generations even, and there’s no doubt this season’s success will go down in history as a simply unforgettable story.
At 5000/1, nobody realistically expected the Foxes to do anything beyond stave off relegation, having only just done so last term thanks to a fine end to the campaign.
The club had even changed their manager, bringing in Claudio Ranieri, a man only available because he had been sacked by Greece after losing to the Faroe Islands, while their top centre-forward was playing non-league football just five years ago.
Leicester were doomed.
But what do we know?
History will show that this East Midlands team tore up the form book in rip-roaring style, consigning the established order to the part of also-rans, while handling every underdog the inspiration to pursue their own dreams.
But how and where was this incredible Premier League title won?
Leicester did what was required in the early half of the campaign, taking advantage of a very favourable fixture list, leaving us all wondering if they could get the job done after Christmas, when they faced trips to Anfield, the Etihad, the Emirates, White Hart Lane and Old Trafford.
You could argue there were about 30 moments that defined their season, but we’ve picked out five we reckon really made the Foxes’ campaign.
It may seem a little odd, but we’ll start with a defeat…
September 26 – Leicester 2-5 Arsenal
Having gone unbeaten in their opening six matches under Ranieri, Alexis Sanchez hit a hat-trick as Arsenal ran riot at the King Power to bring Leicester crashing back down to Earth.
Most folk simply assumed – and why wouldn’t you? – that the Foxes would then slide down the table.
But not Claudio Ranieri’s boys, who showed the resolve to bounce right back.
Leicester responded by winning eight and drawing two of their next 10 matches, in a fantastic Autumn run that set them up brilliantly for the rest of the campaign.
It was also a mega time for Jamie Vardy, who scored in 11 consecutive games, to break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record, ironically against Manchester United.
December 19 – Everton 2-3 Leicester
The match that ensured Leicester would be top at Christmas.
Riyad Mahrez scored twice from the penalty spot, and Shinji Okazaki got the third as the Foxes hit three goals for the fourth successive away game to oust Roberto Martinez’s Everton.
This game also marked the end of Leicester’s goal-mad ways. With 57 goals witnessed in their opening 17 matches, only 35 would be netted or conceded in the next 17 games.
January 13 – Tottenham 0-1 Leicester
Having gone on their only three-game winless spell of the season, doubts were again raised over Leicester’s title credentials, with Arsenal taking a two-point lead at the top.
But in a tense game with the ever-improving Spurs, Rob Huth headed a late winner to put Leicester right back into contention.
Having been 33/1 for the title before the match, their odds subsequently tumbled right into 12s.
February 6 – Manchester City 1-3 Leicester
You could argue this was Leicester’s best performance of the season.
Manchester City sat just three points behind the Foxes when they visited the Etihad, and victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s men would have sent them top.
But having just seen off the quickly-improving Liverpool, a Huth double, plus a superb Mahrez effort left City stunned as the visitors deservedly went 3-0 up.
Sergio Aguero pulled one back, but Leicester had made a huge signal of their intentions in the best possible way.
February 27 – Leicester 1-0 Norwich
Having just thrown away three points at Arsenal thanks to Danny Simpson’s red card and Danny Welbeck’s stoppage-time winner, the jury was still out on whether or not Leicester could really pull this off.
Norwich – fighting at the bottom end of the table, held the Foxes for 88 minutes, and a draw would have allowed Spurs to go top on goal difference.
But in a team full of heroes, Leonardo Ulloa came good in the final minute, to hand a huge three points to Ranieri’s men.
Of course this is only a snippet of a story that will stand the test of time.
Book shops up and down the country will need to extend their Leicester City section, and we’re all waiting to find out who will play Jamie Vardy in the movie…
But when all is said and done, the bottom line is, Leicester City are Premier League champions.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.