Leicester champagne on ice after draw
3 May, 2016, 12:00 am
LONDON – Leicester City failed to grasp their first chance to clinch the Premier League title when they drew 1-1 with Manchester United yesterday but they moved ever closer to a first English top-flight crown.
That will be confirmed if Tottenham Hotspur do not beat Chelsea yesterday and, whatever the result at Stamford Bridge, Claudio Ranieri’s side need two points from their last two games to complete their fairytale triumph.
The draw also hit United’s hopes of securing a Champions League qualification spot, although Southampton’s 4-2 victory over fourth-placed Manchester City kept them in the hunt.
Leicester have secured their place in Europe’s premier competition and their manager Claudio Ranieri will not even be watching the Chelsea v Spurs game with his team eight points clear at the top of the table.
“I think I’m on a flight back from Italy so it’s difficult for me to watch the match,” the Italian said.
“My mother is 96 years old and I would like to have a lunch with her. I will be the last man in England to know.”
Ranieri believed Leicester, who had Danny Drinkwater sent off for a second bookable offence late on, deserved their point which was secured by a powerful Wes Morgan header after Anthony Martial scored early for the hosts.
United manager Louis van Gaal brushed off speculation that he is about to lose his job.
“I think we played one of our best matches of the season, but it was not enough. Next year you will see me again,” he said and his chances of staying at Old Trafford were helped by City’s loss at Southampton.
Sadio Mane bagged his second hat-trick of the season to take his tally to 14 and Shane Long also scored for seventh-placed Southampton with Serbian Dusan Tadic providing assists for three of the goals.
City appeared to have one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid and are now only four points ahead of fifth-placed United who have a game in hand.