Leicester City’s 1-0 wins are carrying them to Premier League glory
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 04/04/16 12:50pm
Their campaign began with a flurry of goals but it’s nerves of steel - and a run of 1-0 victories - propelling Leicester to the title now.
"How many times have I said to you about 1-0? What does it mean? It means championship form. I don't mind the 1-0s, I really don't because it tells you we are determined, we're going to defend, do the right things and play as a team." - Sir Alex Ferguson, 2012
These words from the legendary Manchester United manager came following a 1-0 win over Fulham on Monday Night Football in March 2012. Ferguson, of course, knows a thing or two about title races and has many fond memories of this particular scoreline.
It's 20 years since the famous 1995/96 season in which Manchester United overhauled Kevin Keegan's Newcastle with the help of eight 1-0 victories. Seven of them came from January onwards, with Eric Cantona scoring the only goal of the game in five of those matches.
Ferguson has not forgotten it, as became clear in an interview with Sky Sports last month. "We won eight games 1-0 and won the league," said the Scot. "These are championship-winning games without question." And it also helps explain why Ferguson is backing Leicester to lift the title too.
The Foxes have now won seven games by one goal to nil so far this season. Remarkably, they've won each of their last four matches by this scoreline and five of their last six. It's making for some nervy finales for Claudio Ranieri's team but their levels of concentration have been impeccable.
In Ferguson's final season as a manager, Manchester United won 16 matches by the odd goal and there are echoes of that propensity to edge matches evident in Leicester's campaign. No team has won more than 14 games in a season this way since - but the Foxes have already done it 14 times in 2015/16.
One-goal Premier League wins in 2015/16
|Team||Wins by one-goal margin|
"The consistency has been there all season," added Ferguson. "If they retain that consistency I can't see anything going wrong for them." Perhaps there's only one bad omen. Though Ferguson revelled in that 1-0 win over Fulham, his side were pipped to the title by Manchester City and Sergio Aguero.
Leicester will want to avoid such an outcome, but the process is nevertheless a familiar one for Ferguson and others. Winning 1-0 is not a result to worry about. Indeed, '1-0 to the champions' could become a familiar refrain from Leicester's supporters in the coming weeks and months.