Le­ices­ter claim Premier League ti­tle as Spurs held

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LON­DON— Le­ices­ter City com­pleted their fairy­tale Premier League ti­tle quest af­ter Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur could only man­age a 2- 2 draw in a pul­sat­ing game with out­go­ing cham­pi­ons Chelsea.

With Le­ices­ter’s play­ers gath­ered at the home of striker Jamie Vardy to watch the match on tele­vi­sion, Spurs went 2- 0 up, only for goals from Gary Cahill and sub­sti­tute Eden Hazard to bring Chelsea level and com­plete one of the most as­ton­ish­ing sto­ries in pro­fes­sional sport. “It’s an un­be­liev­able feel­ing.

I’ve never known any­thing like it,” said Vardy, who was shown ju­bi­lantly cel­e­brat­ing Spurs’ re­sult with his team- mates in a video posted on Twit­ter by left- back Chris­tian Fuchs.

“We were scrap­ping to stay in the league last sea­son and on Satur­day we’ll be lift­ing the tro­phy.” “It’s the big­gest achieve­ment in the his­tory of a great club and we all feel priv­i­leged to be part of it.

Clau­dio Ranieri’s side, 5,000- 1 out­siders who were at the foot of the ta­ble just over a year ago, can now look for­ward to a ti­tle party when they lift the tro­phy at their King Power Sta­dium home fol­low- ing Satur­day’s game with Ever­ton.

The mod­est Thai- owned club are Eng­land’s first new ti­tle- win­ners since Brian Clough’s Not­ting­ham For­est side of 1978 and their surge to glory in the world’s most- watched foot­ball cham­pi­onship has won them ad­mir­ers across the globe. “I’m so proud,” Le­ices­ter man­ager Ranieri said in com­ments pub­lished on the web­site of the club he joined in 2015.

“I never ex­pected this when I ar­rived. I’m a prag­matic man. “The play­ers have been fan­tas­tic,” the Ital­ian added. “Their fo­cus, their de­ter­mi­na­tion, their spirit has made this pos­si­ble. Every game they fight for each other and I love to see this in my play­ers. They de­serve to be cham­pi­ons.”

Le­ices­ter’s pre­vi­ous best sea­son in the English top flight was a se­cond- place fin­ish in 1929 and their last piece of sil­ver­ware had been the 2000 League Cup. “I’ve never known a spirit like the one be­tween these boys. We’re like broth­ers,” said Le­ices­ter cap­tain Wes Mor­gan, who scored the equaliser in their 1- 1 draw at Manch­ester United on Sun­day.

“Satur­day can’t come quickly enough. I can’t wait to get my hands on the tro­phy.” Le­ices­ter’s for­mer striker Gary Lineker, who promised to present the BBC’s flag­ship Match of the Day tele­vi­sion pro­gramme in his un­der­wear if they won the ti­tle, said their achieve­ment was “im­pos­si­ble”. “I can’t think of any­thing that sur­passes it in sport­ing his­tory,” said the for­mer Eng­land striker.

“It is dif­fi­cult to put over in words.” Fans in the east Mid­lands city of Le­ices­ter gath­ered to watch the game in bars and pubs, roar­ing on Chelsea, the out­go­ing cham­pi­ons, as if sup­port­ing their own team. There were scenes of delir­ium at Hog­a­rths pub, near the cathe­dral where 15th- cen­tury monarch Richard III was rein­terred in March last year, sup­pos­edly spark­ing the team’s rise to glory. Sup­port­ers spilled into the sur­round­ing streets af­ter­wards, chant­ing the names of Ranieri and 22- goal top scorer Vardy, who was named the Foot­ball Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion ( FWA) Foot­baller of the Year ear­lier in the day.

Al­ge­rian winger Riyad Mahrez was pre­vi­ously elected the Pro­fes­sional Foot­ballers’ As­so­ci­a­tion ( PFA) Player of the Year, be­com­ing the first African player to win the award.— Agen­cies

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.