Leicester City let slip an opportunity to clench the Premier League title after playing out a tense 1-1 draw with Manchester United this afternoon. Leicester can still claim the title on Monday night if Tottenham fail to pick up three points against London rivals Chelsea. Leicester City’s fairytale story is not quite yet complete, yet they have edged slightly closer to becoming the champions of England for the first time and are now just two points away from making history. BBC Sport reports that Leicester City could now win the title at home in front of their fans when they face off with Everton next Saturday.
In an intense affair at Old Trafford, it looked like Manchester United were going to deal Leicester’s title hopes a blow after Anthony Martial scored after just eight minutes of play. However, Leicester City drew level just nine minutes later after Wes Morgan headed home from Danny Drinkwater’s superb free kick. Claudio Ranieri’s men pushed on to find a winning goal, which would have sealed the title, but Man United held on for the draw and failed to capitalise after Drinkwater was dismissed after picking up his second yellow card in the 86th minute.
Claudio Ranieri reflected on a challenging afternoon via BBC Sport.
“We didn’t come here to win the title, we came here to make a performance because we knew it was a difficult match. At the start United was better than us and we didn’t find a solution to give the ball without Jamie Vardy and when we wanted to restart they maintained the ball and it was difficult for us.”
CNN reports that Manchester United have claimed the Premier League title 20 times, but denying Leicester City the trophy will do little to appease fans as their hopes for a top four finish are now all but over. As a sign of how the season has played out, the Manchester United fans applauded the Leicester City fans off the pitch and the visiting fans stayed long after the final whistle to applaud the effort of their players. Chants of “Tottenham Hotspur, we’re waiting for you” rang out as Leicester fans remained in a jubilant mood despite leaving Old Trafford with just a point and not the Premier League title.
Great applause for the Leicester City players as they leave the pitch - from Manchester United's fans.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) May 1, 2016
It's supposed to be enjoyable isn't it? Excruciating watch, but a massive point!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 1, 2016
Although it seems only a matter of time until Leicester City mathematically claim the title, the players and fans will feel some anxiety after failing to clench and Tottenham on a good run of form aside from drawing with West Brom last time out. If Tottenham are to cause an unlikely upset, they must now win all three of their remaining games and hope that Leicester fail to pick up two points from their two remaining games. After playing Chelsea on Monday night, Tottenham host Southampton before travelling to relegation battling Newcastle on the last day of the season.
After facing Everton next Saturday, Leicester City travel to last year’s title winners, Chelsea, to close their season and are expected to have claimed the title by this point. Around the time that Chelsea claimed the title last season, things were very different for Leicester City. Playing under Nigel Pearson, the Foxes were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League title and looked certain to face relegation. After an astonishing run of form in the final stretch, Leicester City managed to escape the drop, but then parted ways with Pearson after a few controversial incidents and a breakdown in communication with the owners. Claudio Ranieri then took the helm, and his side started the 2015/2016 season as 5,000-1 outsiders to claim the Premier League trophy.
Leicester City’s astonishing story has caught the attention of the entire world, with some stating that it is the greatest underdog story of all time. For now, the champagne is on ice as Leicester City, and everyone around the world, turns their attention to Tottenham’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Monday evening.
[Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images]