Champions For Real – 4 Years On

Over this bank holiday week end we thought we would look back to our memorable day over a few articles, here is our match reporters thoughts on pre-match up to half time

Report by James Bandy

So it was real after all. The thing that Leicester fans had dreamed for months but daren’t speak of, finally became a reality. After 132 years, the club had won its first ever top-flight title, and they celebrated lifting the trophy with an emphatic 3-1 win over Everton at a packed King Power Stadium.

After being confirmed champions following Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea five days earlier, the celebrations had been in full flow for players and fans alike. After the exertions of this season, you could almost have forgiven the players being off the pace. After all, just two years ago, promotion to the Premier League had been followed by a 4-1 defeat at home to Brighton, but that never looked like happening against an Everton side that looked short on confidence and spirit.

Instead, The Foxes produced a performance befitting of champions, full of the pace, energy and incisive counter-attacking football that has enthralled fans and neutrals alike and carried them to this unlikeliest of titles.

Leicester made four changes from the team that started against Manchester United the previous week. Jamie Vardy returned from his two-match suspension in place of Leonardo Ulloa and Marc Albrighton replaced Jeff Schlupp, while King and Wasilewski came in for the suspended Drinkwater and Huth.

There was a superb atmosphere around the city and stadium before the game, and the noise inside the King Power was deafening as Everton gave the champions a guard of honour on their entrance from the tunnel. It wasn’t long before the home fans were on their feet again, as Vardy marked his return in style.

Mahrez’s quick throw-in found King in space on the right flank, and the Wales midfielder clipped an exquisite ball into the centre for Vardy, who ghosted in between Bryan Oviedo and John Stones to deftly guide the ball into the far corner.

Leicester were in control against an Everton side without a win in their last four away matches, and could have doubled their lead when King headed into Joel’s hands from close range after a fine Mahrez cross.

Wes Morgan then danced through the visitors’ defence before striding into the penalty area and, perhaps realising how ridiculous it all was, tried to find a team-mate when he probably would have been better off shooting. It was exhibition stuff, and the fans couldn’t get enough.

On 33 minutes, Leicester made it 2-0. Mahrez raced into the penalty area and with a double stepover, took two Everton defenders out. Baines managed to get a foot to the ball, but only helped it into the path of the onrushing King, who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Part Two tomorrow…..