Leicester City’s remarkable rise to Premier League champions is complete after Tottenham Hotspur failed to beat Chelsea on Monday night.
The Foxes become the first club since Nottingham Forest in 1977-78 to win the English top-flight league title for the first time, having only once before — in 1928-29 — finished as runners-up in their 132-year history.
After Leicester drew 1-1 with Manchester United at the weekend, Tottenham needed to beat the Blues to keep the title race alive, but Claudio Ranieri’s men are now an unassailable seven points clear of their rivals with two games left to play after Spurs’ 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Second-half goals from Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard were enough to finally down the second-place Spurs’ charge, but the night, and season, belongs to Leicester.
It marks an incredible rise for the club who were facing relegation last season — and spent 140 days from November 2014 to April 2015 at the bottom of the Premier League table — before a run of seven wins in their last nine games under Nigel Pearson kept them up. They eventually finished in 14th place.
Pearson was sacked in the summer and replaced by Ranieri in July, while the club spent less than £30 million on their squad since last summer, with their entire squad costing just £54.4million.
After their troubles last season, Leicester were 5,000-1 to win the title in 2015-16, with the highest cashout being £72,000 on a £50 bet, which was collected in March, according to Ladbrokes.
The 64-year-old Ranieri was far from the only knight in shining armour at the King Power Stadium this year.
Midfielder Riyad Mahrez and striker Jamie Vardy had already picked up the PFA’s Footballer of the Year and Football Writers’ Association awards. It is the first time that two players from the same club have claimed both awards in the same season since Everton’s Neville Southall and Peter Reid in 1985.
Foxes fans have begun chanting “Jamie Vardy’s having a party” this season, and the England striker actually threw one at his Melton Mowbray home.
Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan and Shinji Okazaki were present at Vardy’s home, while a number of supporters also gathered outside the gates of the house.
Vardy began his senior career at Stocksbridge Park Steels after being rejected by Sheffield Wednesday as a teenager and was playing nonleague football for Fleetwood in 2012.
The 29-year-old has gone on to score 24 goals for club and country this season and looks set to lead the line for England at Euro 2016.
Mahrez’s 17 goals and 11 assists capped the Algerian’s own astonishing ascent from the French second division as recently as 2014.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, defenders Morgan and Danny Simpson and midfielders N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater were also recognised by the voters in the FWA poll.
S even years to the day after the Foxes rounded off their League One title-winning campaign with a 3-0 win away at Crewe, they can now savour the proudest moment in the club’s history.
- Information from the Press Association was used in this report.