April 17, 2024

Dragon Esdelsur

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On This Day in 2016: Title delight for Leicester

Leicester were crowned Premier League champions for the first time in the club’s history on this day in 2016.

Ranked as 5,000-1 outsiders to win the title at the start of the season, it looked like the Foxes would struggle to beat the drop never mind push on up the table under Nigel Pearson’s successor Claudio Ranieri.

But having lost 19 matches the previous season, City fell to just three defeats on the way to a stunning Premier League triumph under the Italian.

Leicester were deserved champions having won at both Manchester City and Tottenham, while an unbeaten run from mid-February proved beyond any doubt they had the nerve to finish the job.

In the end, a little help from the previous Premier League winners Chelsea helped complete their rise from relegation fodder to champions.

Leicester City 2015/16 Barclays Premier League Champions Parade

Leicester celebrate their Premier League title triumph (PA)

Second-half goals from Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard secured a 2-2 draw and finally down second-placed Tottenham’s charge on a night of high drama that the players watched unfold from Jamie Vardy’s home.

Foxes fans coined the chant ‘Jamie Vardy’s having a party’ and the top scorer had quite the shindig in Melton Mowbray, where videos showed the group celebrating wildly as the title was confirmed.

Ranieri’s experience was more tranquil having flown back from Italy after visiting his 96-year-old mother in Rome return home in time to watch Tottenham draw with his family.

“I am very, very happy now because maybe if I won this title at the beginning of my career maybe I would forget,” Ranieri, then 64, said. “Now I am an old man I can feel it much better.

“I said every time I am very happy for the fans, for the chairman and for all the Leicester community. I don’t know the secret. The players, the heart, the soul and how they play.”