As the 2015/16 season rumbles on, this remarkable season took another twist on Saturday with league leaders Leicester City (yes, you read that right) beating challengers and fancied favourites Manchester City in their own backyard, moving six points clear of the blue half of Manchester (they are five points clear of Spurs and Arsenal, who both went ahead of Man City with wins of their own over the weekend).
It wasn’t simply that Leicester defied expectations by winning – it was the manner of their victory. They were at one stage 3-0 up, comfortably dealing with City’s attacks whilst playing with such energy and purpose that their own efforts proved too much for City to handle. A consolation goal for the home side did nothing to dent the impression of a dominant performance and result.
Leicester have been there or thereabouts since before Christmas, and everyone (myself included) has expected them to drop off as the pressures and strains of a title campaign begin to mount. Claudio Ranieri, their manager, has talked down ideas that Leicester are contenders, much less the favourites that some media sources are now suggesting.
Yet the fact remains, they are top, they cannot be deposed even if they lose their next game (away to Arsenal), and they have arguably an easier run in than their rivals.
So, it begs the question, could they do it? Winning the title, given their comparatively shallow resources, would have to go down as the biggest shock in modern English football, and what would make it all the more remarkable is that this time last year, they were mired in a relegation dogfight. I for one want them to win it – at what point do we say they can?
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