Stale­mate at an emo­tional King Power Sta­dium

Sunday Observer - - SPORT - Daily Mail

LON­DON - The scene re­called to mind the af­ter­noon of May 7, 2016. That day the stands in this ground shim­mered with white and blue flags. An­other free gift to sup­port­ers, they were waved fever­ishly in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a Premier League tro­phy be­ing raised. It was ju­bi­la­tion.

This time the ef­fect that swept over the ground was a pro­found sense of solem­nity.

In the Bud­dhist faith, the colour white re­minds of the end of things and so mov­ing was the video mon­tage in trib­ute to Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha, played on the big screen mo­ments be­fore Mike Dean blew his whis­tle, it was im­pos­si­ble not to feel the ter­ri­ble events here a fort­night ago meant the end of a some­thing spe­cial in­deed.

Leicester will go on of course. Un­der the Sri­vad­dhanaprabha fam­ily too.

But now the mir­a­cle of 2016 will for­ever be twinned with the tragedy of 2018. Rec­ol­lec­tions of high­est plea­sure tinged by deep­est pain.

Un­der­lin­ing the point was the pres­ence in the di­rec­tors’ box of the three man­agers who took Leicester to such un­ex­pected al­ti­tudes. For the first time Clau­dio Ranieri, Nigel Pear­son, and Craig Shake­speare were to­gether in the same place. They would not have wished it be so in these cir­cum­stances.

Joe Hart rushed out in the open­ing stages of the match to deny De­marai Gray a goal-scor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

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