Leicester's 10-year journey to the Premier League title
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 03/05/16 9:06am
Leicester City have clinched the Premier League title with two games of their extraordinary season to spare.
The Foxes edged closer to the crown with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Super Sunday, and Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Monday Night Football sealed the deal.
Leicester are champions
Leicester clinched the Premier League title as a result of Tottenham's draw at Chelsea.
As Leicester celebrate the first title in their 132-year history, we look back at their remarkable 10-year journey to the top.
Championship obscurity (2005-2008)
A decade ago, Leicester started the season in the Championship, two years after dropping out of the Premier League under Micky Adams. The Foxes had finished 15th in their first season back in the second tier, and in the 2005/06 campaign they fell one place to 16th.
The downward trend continued with a 19th place finish in 2006/07, and things went from bad to worse in 2007/08 as a 0-0 draw with Stoke City on the final day of the season confirmed Leicester's relegation to the third tier for the first time in their long history.
In the four years of Championship mediocrity between relegation from the Premier League and dropping into League One, Leicester had cycled through six managers, with Adams, Craig Levein, Rob Kelly, Martin Allen, Gary Megson, and, finally, Ian Holloway, unable to oversee an upturn in fortunes.
A season in League One (2008-2009)
Leicester turned to Nigel Pearson after their relegation, with the former Southampton boss beginning his first stint in charge of the Foxes in League One.
They took the division by storm, losing just four games out of 46 and finishing the campaign seven points clear of second-placed Peterborough United with 96 points. Matty Fryatt was their top scorer with 27 goals, and there was also a vital contribution from Andy King - the only player still with the squad now.
King featured in all but one of Leicester's league games, scoring nine goals, and the Welshman played the full 90 minutes of the 2-0 win over Southend United that clinched their return to the second tier on April 18, 2009.
Back in the second tier (2009-2014)
On their return to the Championship, Pearson's men immediately looked comfortable, beating Swansea 2-1 on the opening day of the campaign thanks to goals from Martyn Waghorn and Dany N'Guessan. The Foxes eventually finished fifth to clinch a play-off spot, but their promotion dream was ended by a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat to Cardiff City.
Pearson left for Hull that summer and Paulo Sousa took over, but the former Swansea boss was sacked just three months later following a poor start to the 2010/11 campaign. Leicester were duly taken over by Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and they appointed the former England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson in October 2010.
Leicester finished 10th and 9th in the next two seasons, during which time the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Drinkwater and Wes Morgan arrived at the club, and they suffered more play-off heartache under Pearson against Watford in 2013.
The 2012/13 campaign was Jamie Vardy's first at Leicester after his rise from non-league, and the following year he was joined at the club by Riyad Mahrez as the Foxes stormed into the top flight as champions with 102 points - nine more than second-placed Burnley.
Premier League return and miraculous survival (2014-2015)
More players who would later become Premier League title-winners, such as Marc Albrighton, Leanardo Ulloa and Danny Simpson, joined the Foxes for their long-awaited return to the Premier League, but the campaign ahead was far from straight-forward.
Leicester had issues on and off the pitch, and in March they found themselves seven points adrift at the bottom of the table with just four wins from 29 games. The Foxes looked certainties for the drop, but an extraordinary run of seven victories from their last nine fixtures lifted them up to 14th - six points clear of the relegation zone.
Ranieri's arrival as successor to Pearson received a muted response as pundits tipped Leicester for relegation in 2015/16, but the momentum stayed with them under the new manager and the rest, as they say, is history…