Many of the fans of the defeated big names stated that Leicester’s Premier League win last year was a fluke. Perhaps it was just their way of being sore losers… or was it just a fluke. Those who said so last year are perhaps a game or two away from saying “I told you so!” BBC Sports reports on the close brush with relegation that is now Leicester’s reality.
Premier League champions Leicester were plunged deeper into relegation trouble as they were beaten by Swansea, whose vital victory gave their own hopes of survival an enormous lift.
After a cagey start, Alfie Mawson’s thumping volley and an incisive team goal finished by Martin Olsson gave the hosts a commanding 2-0 half-time lead.
Leicester offered more resistance in the second half – substitute Islam Slimani was denied by a fine save by Lukasz Fabianski – but fell to a fifth successive defeat, increasing the pressure on manager Claudio Ranieri.
The Foxes, who are just one point above the relegation zone, are the only side in the top four English divisions without a league goal in 2017.
They are also the first reigning champions to lose five consecutive top flight matches since Chelsea in March 1956 and now find themselves embroiled in a congested relegation battle in which the bottom six teams are separated by just five points.
Leicester in freefall
Winless in the Premier League in 2017 and without a goal in their previous five league outings, Leicester entered this fixture in apparent freefall.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel described their faltering title defence as “embarrassing” after last Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat by Manchester United, while Wednesday’s FA Cup replay win over Derby was preceded by a dreaded vote of confidence from the club’s board for manager Ranieri.
The Italian cut a forlorn figure on the touchline at the Liberty Stadium, standing motionless as he watched his side surrender two goals in a potentially defining eight-minute spell at the end of the first half.
There was little Schmeichel could do to stop Mawson’s brilliant swerving volley, but the goalkeeper was at fault for Swansea’s second.
Attempting to launch a counter-attack, the Dane’s throw landed at the feet of Swans midfielder Tom Carroll, who started a slick one-touch passing move which involved Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson and ended with Olsson, whose firm strike Schmeichel should have saved.
As impressive as the goal was from a Swansea perspective, it was indicative of Leicester’s porous defence – a far cry from the solid backline which formed the foundation for their improbable title success last season.
Will they manage to steal victory from the jaws of defeat and keep their hopes alive or will they return to the lower echelons of football in Britain and bask in the memories of their short lived reign? Only time will tell. Can you tell? Share your views in the comments section. I’d like to hear from you.