Leicester City sealed one of the most unlikely title triumphs in football history as they were crowned Premier League champions after Tottenham Hotspur failed to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday, drawing 2-2:
Leicester players immediately took to Twitter after the result to celebrate their remarkable achievement:
Jamie Vardy, the man at the tip of the Foxes' attack, drew attention for his seemingly veiled comment on Tottenham's title challenge:
On April 18, Harry Kane posted a photo on Instagram after Leicester drew with West Ham United, implying Spurs were in pursuit of the Foxes:
Only a year removed from spectacularly avoiding relegation to the Championship, Leicester claimed their first-ever English top-flight title with an extraordinary 2015-16 season under manager Claudio Ranieri, who called Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink after the match. Hiddink told reporters Ranieri "just said five times thank you. I couldn't see him. It wasn't FaceTime."
They now sit seven points ahead of second-place Spurs with only two matches remaining, capping a season that redefines the word improbable, as Goal.com's Ben Hayward pointed out:
Even Tottenham fan Adele couldn't help but marvel at what Leicester accomplished (Warning: Language is NSFW):
Leicester have nabbed their title in remarkably efficient fashion. They opened the season with just a single defeat in 17 matches, indicating they could be in line for a special campaign.
The turn of the year was seen as a key run for the Foxes, as they faced defending champions Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, City and Spurs in a span of six games across December and January.
Ranieri's men lost to 1-0 Liverpool for only their second defeat of the season, but they beat Chelsea, Everton and Tottenham, while they drew with City.
Leicester subsequently took top spot in the Premier League from Arsenal on Jan. 23 after a 3-0 defeat of Stoke City—Danny Drinkwater, Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa scoring the goals—and have not relinquished it since.
Danny Welbeck scored a last-minute winner for the Gunners against Leicester on Valentine's Day to cast further doubt on whether the Foxes could go the distance, but—far from crumbling—Ranieri's side have won seven of their 10 matches since.
“The players have been fantastic. Their focus, their determination, their spirit has made this possible," Ranieri said to the club's official website (via the EPL's official Twitter account).
In the first half of the season, Leicester's extraordinary story was characterised by their swashbuckling attack, as Vardy and Riyad Mahrez lit up the league—the latter was subsequently crowned the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year:
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However, their defence looked shaky, with their first clean sheet of the season not coming until a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in late October.
Things have changed, though, in the run-in, as the Foxes have been hugely impressive at the back, per the Irish Daily Star's Kieran Cunningham:
N'Golo Kante has been a rock in the centre of midfield, while Robert Huth and Wes Morgan have been brilliant in defence in front of Kasper Schmeichel, who, with his father, Peter, became the second father-son duo to have won the Premier League, per Chris Davie of Goal.com.
A recent stretch of four edgy 1-0 wins kept their noses in front while they were not playing their best football, a sign of true champions.
And it has now been confirmed, as unlikely as it seemed at the start of the season and for much of the 2015-16 campaign: Leicester are Premier League champions.