Duncan Hare, Deputy Sports Editor
Two-nil down at home to Aston Villa with 25 minutes left in mid-September, Leicester City’s unbeaten start to the season was dead and buried.
How this match then swung was a precursor for the rest of the season. Tim Sherwood — sacked just over a month later — labelled it his worst ever moment in football. Leicester City ditched 4-2-3-1 and went good ol’ 4-4-2.
And believed they could do it. Who scored for Leicester is proof of how much this season has been a squad effort. Ritchie de Laet pulled one back. Jamie Vardy nicked the equaliser with eight minutes left.
And in the last minute. the magician Riyad Mahrez swung in a cross, Brad Guzan came for a ball that was never his to begin with and Nathan Dyer — who has not started a Premier League match all season — bravely got his head on the end of it despite the clattering off the keeper.
Aston Villa never recovered, Leicester City never looked back.
Ashley Hammond, Sports Reporter
Jamie Vardy scoring his 11th consecutive Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United in November to break Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record was my favourite moment. Given that it was United with which Van Nistelrooy had initially set this benchmark back in 2003, it couldn’t have been more appropriate.
I’d also like to think this was the catalyst to The Foxes starting to believe they could achieve even bigger dreams. Van Nistelrooy tweeting Vardy after the game to congratulate him was a lovely touch by the Dutch striker.
Euan Reedie, Chief Sports Writer, Abu Dhabi
Who doesn’t love Claudio Ranieri, the architect of Leicester City’s implausible title triumph? My moment of the season was Ranieri receiving an insight into the reverence he has inspired among supporters when he watched a thoroughly deserved tribute video from people of all ages last week.
“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said one fan. “It’s incredible and thank you for everything you’ve done so far.”
“We love you here in Leicester; you’re in our hearts, deep down,” said another. “I make this job because I’m very, very happy when the fans are happy,” a visibly moved Ranieri said afterwards. “All my sacrifice is this and I love this.”
A symbiotic relationship to gladden the soul, then, and proof positive that romanticism can still exist in the moneyed world of football.
An eminently genial figure, who has never engaged in mind games or sought controversy under immense pressure, Ranieri truly merits every plaudit.
Martin Fullard, Web Sports Editor
Leicester had been raising eyebrows since August but it was still widely believed that their so-called ‘title challenge’ would eventually fade out. With the likes of Manchester United struggling and Chelsea battling the relegation places, it seemed a safe bet that the Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City juggernaut would walk to the title.
On February 6, the Foxes travelled to the Etihad Stadium where the hosts were waiting to routinely dispense of them. However Leicester hadn’t read the script and towering centre-half Robert Huth met the end of Riyad Mahrez’s free kick after four minutes to put them 1-0 ahead.
If City thought they were going to turn things around in the second half they were wrong. Mahrez struck to make it 2-0 on 48 minutes before Huth headed home for his second in the 60th for 3-0. A stunned City looked visibly deflated. The home side’s defence was shaken and the attack limp-wristed. The only consolation came in the 87th minute when Sergio Aguero glanced a header home.
Too little, too late. The Foxes had bullied the favourites off the park and kicked the Sky Blues into the blue sky.