In what’s being hailed as a “miracle” and the “best story in sports,” Leicester City, a small club from central England that started the season at 5000-1 odds of winning the prestigious English Premier League title, has clinched the trophy.
On Monday, with two games still left in the season, the league-leading Foxes secured their place in history when second place Tottenham failed to beat Chelsea.
It’s the first top-tier title for Leicester in the club’s 132-year history. The club is only the sixth since 1992 to win the title. It had only a fraction of the money commanded by top clubs and its leading scorer, Jamie Vardy, was playing in England’s lower divisions while working at a factory. Having spent most of last season languishing near the bottom of the league rankings, the club’s meteoric rise to the top is breathtaking.
Leicester had the chance to secure the title on Sunday with a win over Manchester United. But it played to a disappointing 1-1 draw, leaving the door open for second-place Tottenham in the title race.
For the beginning of Monday’s game, it looked as if Leicester’s fairy-tale ending had been delayed again.
Tottenham took a 2-0 lead in the first half thanks to goals from the league’s top scorer, Harry Kane, and midfielder Son Heung-Min. But Chelsea defender Gary Cahill managed to slot home a goal in the 58th minute and Eden Hazard tied the game with a rocket to the upper-right corner in the 83rd.
The game was physical and emotions ran high as scuffles flared repeatedly on the pitch. A total of 12 yellow cards were handed out, nine of which went to Tottenham. The Hotspurs had a few promising chances near the end of the game, but Chelsea held on, sealing the deal for Leicester.
The crowd at Chelsea’s home field, Stamford Bridge, chanted “Leicester, Leicester,” as the final whistle drew near.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri made headlines when he said he might not be watching the crucial game because he would be having lunch with his 96-year-old mother. The Leicester players, though, watched at Vardy’s house. Here’s the video of the moment they won the trophy, tweeted by Leicester defender Christian Fuchs.