Leicester City Premier League season review 2014/15
Last Updated: 24/05/15 9:22pm
We reflect on Leicester's remarkable 2014/15 campaign with top stats, quotes and pundit views...
Finishing position: 14th
Total points: 41
FA Cup: Eliminated in fifth round by Aston Villa
Capital One Cup: Eliminated in second round by Shrewsbury
Leicester City’s successful survival mission is one of the stories of the season, but few expected them to be involved in a relegation battle at all after draws with Everton and Arsenal and a famous 5-3 win over Manchester United in the opening month of the campaign. Rather than building on that bright start, however, Nigel Pearson’s side embarked on a miserable run of 13 games without a win. There was always a feeling that Leicester were better than their points tally showed, however, and they steadied the ship by winning four of their first six games after Christmas, including a fantastic comeback win in an FA Cup tie against Spurs at White Hart Lane where late strikes from Leonardo Ulloa and Jeffrey Schlupp secured a 2-1 victory.
It was around that point that manager Pearson began to dominate the headlines for all the wrong reasons. After the 53-year-old bizarrely grabbed Crystal Palace’s James McArthur by the throat during a 1-0 loss at the King Power Stadium, reports emerged saying he had been sacked. Leicester issued a statement refuting those claims, however, and the Foxes boss clung to his job. The Midlanders failed to win any of their next six games, and they looked dead and buried after a 4-3 defeat to Tottenham left them seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.
What followed was nothing short of remarkable. A late 2-1 win at home to West Ham ended a run of eight games without a win in all competitions, and it was followed by a thrilling 3-2 triumph over West Brom in which Jamie Vardy struck an injury time winner. Pearson took the headlines again after losing his temper with a journalist after a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at the end of April, but that unsavoury episode was swiftly forgotten after impressive victories over Newcastle and Southampton. Esteban Cambiasso proved to be an inspired signing, while Vardy’s impressive debut campaign in the top flight was rewarded with an England call-up. To round off an astonishing finish to the season, Leicester hammered relegated QPR 5-1 at the King Power Stadium on the final day.
Paul Merson's star player: Esteban Cambiasso
"He’s one of the main reasons the club have survived this season. He’s their leader and has kept a cool head in a difficult situation."
Quotes of the season
“If you don't know the answer to that question, then I think you are an ostrich. Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no. I can, you can’t” – Nigel Pearson’s bizarre rant at a journalist
“I was out shopping for my holiday clothes - I won’t be needing them now!” – Jamie Vardy on his England call-up
When you consider our plight a couple of months ago, to go into the final game with our safety assured is quite an unbelievable achievement” - Nigel Pearson on avoiding relegation
Stats of the season
- Leicester took more points (22) than any other Premier League side in the final nine games of the season
- Leonardo Ulloa is only the sixth player after Tony Cottee, Emile Heskey, Paul Dikov, Steve Claridge, and Les Ferdinand to score 10 or more goals in a Premier League season for the Foxes
- Leicester have conceded the joint most own goals in the Premier League this season (five)
Paul Merson's view
"They have been brilliant. I did call their survival when they were eight points adrift and I kept faith with them. There are two reasons why they’ve got out of trouble: Esteban Cambiasso and the ability to take their chances. At the start of the season they didn’t put them away despite making a lot of them. Burnley and QPR weren’t creating anywhere near as much chances. It’s been an amazing recovery."