- Chelsea holds Spurs to end their ambition
Leicester City has won the Premier League title in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.
Tottenham’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea last night confirmed a stunning achievement for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Leicester started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title after almost being relegated last season.
But they have lost just three league games in what has been described as a “fairytale” and the “most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport”.
Closest challengers Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and last year’s champions Chelsea, have all failed to match the Foxes’ consistency across the season.
“In terms of domestic football, Leicester City winning the Premier League is the greatest achievement ever and I think it will never be surpassed,” former Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage told BBC Sport.
“It is incredible. This is a turning point in Premier League history.”
Savage added: “I’m speechless, it is unbelievable. I’ve seen England win the Ashes and get OBEs and MBEs. This Leicester team’s achievement is greater than any of that. They should be recognised in the honours list.”
After Leicester drew 1-1 at Manchester United on Sunday, Tottenham needed to win all three of their remaining league games to catch the Foxes.
But their title hopes were ended when they squandered a 2-0 lead to only draw at London rivals Chelsea.
Match of the Day pundit and former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and England striker Alan Shearer said Leicester’s achievement was “the biggest thing ever in football”.
Shearer, who won the Premier League in 1995 with underdogs Blackburn, told BBC Sport: “For a team like Leicester to come and take the giants on with their wealth and experience – not only take them on but to beat them – I think it’s the biggest thing to happen in football.”
Former Leicester, Everton and England striker Gary Lineker described his hometown team’s achievement as “the biggest sporting shock of my lifetime”.
The Match of the Day presenter had suggested the Leicester players were on the “edge of sporting immortality” last month.
Leicester East MP Keith Vaz said: “This is a miracle which has captured the imagination of the sporting world and beyond. People in every corner of the globe now know where Leicester is.”
Former Foxes manager Martin O’Neill, who led the club to their previous highest Premier League finish of eighth in 2000, said: “Not only is it a brilliant story, but it gives everyone that little bit of hope again. That romance has not left football.
“It’s been the talk of Europe, there’s no question about that. Everything about this season has been remarkable.”
It is Leicester’s first top-flight title and the club, owned by Thai billionaire businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, has also qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions’ League group stages for the first time.
The Foxes started the season among the favourites for relegation and only the three promoted sides – Watford, Norwich and Bournemouth – were longer odds for the league title.
Ranieri, who took over from the sacked Nigel Pearson in the summer, was seen as an uninspired choice by some fans and pundits after his predecessor had overseen a run of seven wins in nine games as Leicester escaped relegation in 2014-15.
The Italian’s previous job ended abruptly when his Greece side lost to European minnows Faroe Islands during Euro 2016 qualifying.
Yet the charismatic 64-year-old’s side – assembled for less than £30m and playing pacy, direct, counter-attacking football – has confounded the experts.