Leicester City have completed the most unlikely title triumph in English football history. Here are five games that proved crucial to this season’s success.
LEICESTER CITY 3-2 ASTON VILLA — September 13, 2015
A solid start to the Premier League season, that consisted of two wins and two draws, looked in serious danger when Leicester trailed an already doomed looking Aston Villa 2-0 with 17 minutes remaining after goals from Jack Grealish and Carles Gil. Ritchie De Laet pulled one back for Leicester before Jamie Vardy equalised with his third goal of the season. Nathan Dyer, on loan from Swansea City, scored the winner in his first appearance to send the King Power Stadium into raptures and fire Leicester up to second in the table. The result also set a new club record of nine games unbeaten in the Premier League. The wind was certainly now in Leicester’s sails.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0-1 LEICESTER CITY — January 13, 2016
Perhaps at the time deemed little more than an impressive result away from home against a strong side, but in retrospect, a key three points against Leicester’s only title rivals during the final stages of the season. The match was decided by a late Robert Huth header to keep Leicester second in the table, although the result did move them level on points with leaders Arsenal. After emerging unscathed through a difficult December, that included wins over Chelsea and Everton, and a draw with Manchester City, Leicester’s unlikely title tilt was starting to take very real shape.
LEICESTER CITY 2-0 LIVERPOOL — February 2, 2016
At this stage of the season, most onlookers were expecting Leicester to gradually fade from the picture, their fanciful title bid slowly but surely coming apart. Instead, Claudio Ranieri’s men followed a 3-0 thumping of Stoke with this win over Liverpool, courtesy of two second half goals from Jamie Vardy. Vardy’s first is a strong contender for goal of the season; a thunderous half-volley from 30 yards out that caught Simon Mignolet off his line. The victory sent Leicester three points clear of City and five ahead of Arsenal. Surely Leicester were going to get clawed back in their next game away at City ...
MANCHESTER CITY 1-3 LEICESTER CITY — February 6, 2016
The match that was supposed to swing the title momentum in Manchester City’s favour, and put Leicester in their place. Except Leicester utterly dismantled their illustrious opponents, starting with Robert Huth’s opener after three minutes, before Riyad Mahrez scored a stunning solo effort two minutes into the second half. Any hopes of a City fightback were killed off when Huth grabbed his second of the game. Sergio Aguero pulled one back late on, but it proved nothing more than a consolation. Leicester proved with this result that they were in it for the long haul.
LEICESTER CITY 4-0 SWANSEA CITY — April 24, 2016
Three points may have been expected from Leicester, but given the context of the match, and the performance they produced, this result firmly deserves it place on the list. Heading into the match after a shaky 2-2 draw at home to West Ham United, missing their lead striker Vardy after his red card the previous game, and with Tottenham closing the gap to five points, the pressure was on Leicester to produce. There really should have been no such concerns. Mahrez scored his first goal since December to get the ball rolling before Vardy’s replacement, Leonardo Ulloa, scored twice to secure the points. Substitute Marc Albrighton put the gloss on the result to keep Leicester in the driving seat.
MANCHESTER UNITED ?-? LEICESTER CITY — May 1, 2016