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The Inconceivable Season Of Leicester City

The path which led Leicester City to make history in 2015-16 Barclays Premier League 

Saikat Banerjee
Last updated: 16.09.2019
Claudio Ranieri and his men lifting the Barclays Premier League trophy 2015-16 | Sports Social Blog

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A year after avoiding relegation by a narrow margin the foxes went on to win the Premier League title against all the odds for the first time in their club history. They became only the 6th club to do so since the commencement of the Premier League in 1992. 

 

Leicester City became the champions with 102 points in the 2013/14 season of Championship thus earning automatic promotion to the Premier League the following season.

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Every pundit predicted Leicester City as favourites to get relegated and it turned out true until the tail end of the season as they lost series of matches and were seated at the bottom by the end of March 2015 with only nine matches to go. On the game week 30 they faced West Ham at home, they somehow pulled a victory out of the hat by scoring a late goal at the 86th minute coming off the boots of Andy King and that marked the beginning of a miracle. Since then they went on to win 7 of their last 9 matches and ensured a return to Premier League by finish 14th at the end of the season.  

 

On July 2015, they appointed Claudio Ranieri who was sacked by the Greece National Team following a loss Faeroe Island a few days ago before his appointment as a manager of Leicester City. He stated his goal for the club in his first press conference for Leicester City which was to reach 40 points by any means as it is considered as the minimum total needed to avoid relegation. 

 

 

 

But it seemed they didn’t lose the momentum even though there was a pretty long halt between the two seasons since they made a promising start to the season defeating Sunderland on the opening weekend by a couple of goals coming from Riyad Mahrez who joined the Foxes when they were in second division and one from Jimmy Vardy who was playing in the fifth tier of English football not that long ago. The foxes made a strong start to the season, two months into the season; they lost only one out of their first nine games. In the last week of November Jimmy Vardy breaks the record by scoring in 11 straight league games but drew against Manchester United and now sits in second place in the table. Every one doubted their consistency with games against Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool approaching. The fans thought their roller coaster ride might be over by New Year’s Day.

 

Halfway through the season, after a goalless tie with Manchester City, a win over Chelsea and a loss to Liverpool sees the foxes level on points with Arsenal at the top of the league. A year earlier at the beginning of 2015, they were at the bottom and a year later they sit at the top sharing the spot with Arsenal.

 

An early elimination in the second week of January from the FA CUP ends Leicester City's involvement in any competition other than from Premier League. But the positive is that Claudio Ranieri can now focus only in the premier league and more importantly the players will get plenty of rest down the stretch. After defeating Manchester City 3-1 at the opening weekends of February 2016 the fans now embrace the dream they once thought impossible as they are now at the top five points clear of their closest neighbour Arsenal.



Coming toward the end of the season they kept on tightening up their defence as Leicester City makes it six clean sheets out of seven matches with a win over Sunderland at the start of April and now sits at the top of the table with 7 points ahead of Spurs. The fans chanted and sang “We are going win to the League”. Midway through April when every premier league fans thought they might see a new winner this year the foxes drop crucial points against West Ham when their key man Jimmy Vardy was sent off due to diving but somehow salvaged a point after they were awarded a stoppage-time penalty kick. A week later they face Swansea City without their potential goal scorer Jimmy Vardy though suspension, instead of looking shaky they absolutely thrashed their opponent, scoring past four and at the same time keeping a clean sheet. With a tie between Spurs and West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City are now just 3 points away from making history. 

 

In order to seal the Premier League on the following weekend, they have to win against the 20 times English League Champions Manchester United. Leicester City missed a chance to clinch the title outright when the game tied, 1-1, at Manchester United on May 1. But dreams not over yet because on the following day Spurs play away against Chelsea. But things didn’t go as expected for Leicester City, Chelsea were 2 goals down at the half time at their own patch against the second-placed Spurs. The match went brutal, there were lots of tackles and fights in-between the two teams but Chelsea somehow scored a goal and lit up the hopes for foxes again. On the 83rd minute, the strike from outside the box by Eden Hazard made it all square again and clinched Leicester City their maiden title. 

 

 

Their unbelievable season ended with 79 points, Jimmy Vardy became Player’s player of the season on scoring 25 goals from 37 appearances and Riyad Mahrez won the PFA Player of the year’s award. 

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