Leicester City have accomplished what was unimaginable at the beginning of the season. They have beaten clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham to the title.
The Foxes carried on their last season form, when they escaped relegation after winning seven of their last ten games in the Premier League. Audiences and experts the world over predicted that this was just a run of exceptional form that would end soon.
The unbeaten run ended at Liverpool’s hands in December but Leicester’s title winning form did not. They have lost only three games all season on their way to winning the league. We look at the key matches that have decided the course of Leicester City’s epic season.
1) Leicester 3-2 Aston Villa, September 2015
Aston Villa this season have been relegated to the Championship with four games to spare. Earlier in the season, they had gone up by two goals at the King Power by halftime and threatened to cut short Leicester’s unbeaten run which had stretched to September.
The Foxes’ showing the character that has made them title contenders this season, equalised through a Richie De Laet volley and a Jamie Vardy tap in. Nathan Dyer, who was on loan from Swansea, scored the winning goal in the 89th minute.
At this point in the season, Leicester were the Premier League’s form team, unbeaten for nine games. They had picked up 33 points from fourteen matches since 4 Apri, when they had begun their “Great Escape” from relegation.
2) Leicester 1-1 Manchester United, November 2015
Leicester played host to the struggling Red Devils in late November. Leicester looked to continue their good form against one of the big guns of the Premier League and prove their credentials as serious players in the league.
Jamie Vardy opened the scoring with a precise strike, finishing a brilliant counter attack that was started by goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel. Vardy scored in his eleventh straight game, breaking former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of getting a goal in ten consecutive games.
Manchester United equalised with Bastian Schweinsteiger’s goal at the end of the first half, followed by a scoreless second half. This result cemented Leicester’s growing reputation as a club to be taken seriously.
3) Leicester 2-1 Chelsea, December 2015
The Foxes played defending champions Chelsea at the King Power where a win would take them back to the top of the Premier League table. Chelsea, on the other hand, were struggling and a loss would put them within a point of the relegation zone.
This game would have held special significance for Italian manager Claudio Ranieri as he had been fired by the London club back in 2004 and has had strained relations with the Chelsea manager.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez scored in the first half and tormented ageing Chelsea defender John Terry throughout. Loic Remy pulled a goal back late in the second half but it was not enough as Chelsea lost their ninth match in fifteen games. Leicester had made a huge statement by defeating the defending champions of England.
4) Tottenham 0-1 Leicester, January 2016
In hindsight, this could be the game that actually won Leicester the league. Had they managed to lose this game, theoretically, the title race would still be open with only one point separating the two contenders.
In what was a tight game at White Hart Lane, Leicester scored through a Robert Huth header for 1-0 win. The win sent Leicester to the joint top position in the table with Arsenal.
Arsenal soon faded away by March and are currently fighting for fourth as is normal practice. Leicester, riding on this win have led Tottenham since and won the Premier League with a six-point gap.
5) Manchester City 1-3 Leicester, February 2016
Leicester went to the Etihad in a bid to secure their title credentials and deliver a blow to Manchester City’s title hopes.
The game began brilliantly for the Foxes as Robert Huth scored a third-minute header from a Riyad Mahrez free kick. Huth added to his tally in the 60th minute while Mahrez became the first player to reach double figures in goals and assists this season when he scored in the forty-eight minute.
This result was a statement win for Leicester, defeating one of the big clubs of the Premier League by a two goal margin on their home turf.