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To Rescue The Premier League From A Boring Finish, Here's How Leicester Can Still Mess Up

To Rescue The Premier League From A Boring Finish, Here's How Leicester Can Still Mess Up
By Gavin Cooney Updated

The incredibly soft penalty Jonathan Moss gave to Leicester City in the dying embers of the clash with West Ham United seems to have killed off the brief flicker of a title race that sparked when Aaron Cresswell volleyed home to impede their seemingly relentless momentum to the title.

Yet Leonardo Ulloa's late penalty rescued a point, and means that even if Spurs beat Stoke tonight, they will still be five points behind with four games to go. The Foxes require just eight points from the final 12 available to complete the most improbable of football achievements. Yet, should they do it, their success will also be a very weird anti-climax. Leicester have been so consistent, grinding out 1-0 win after 1-0 win, that they have taken the title race to whatever the opposite direction to 'the wire' is.

Where once there was the greatest underdog story in the history of sport, there's now a rather different story going on. This isn't how it was supposed to go. Leicester were supposed to burn out in a blaze of glory, forever remembered for that time they nearly won the Premier League but didn't because it's skewed in favour of the big boys. It wasn't supposed to end with a series of thoroughly professional and well managed 1-0 wins.

It is a strange contradiction, that one of the most topsy-turvy seasons in English history is threatening to come to an incredibly dull conclusion. It seems odd to wish against Leicester to satisfy our own need for entertainment, but that is exactly what we are going to do. Because deep down, we wouldn't mind a slip from the Foxes to make things interesting. So here's how that might come about:

A 1-1 draw with Swansea in Jamie Vardy's absence

Spurs slash the gap at the top to just three points having seen Leicester falter in their penultimate home game of the season. With Jamie Vardy suspended, Leicester lose their ability to sit deep and hit Swansea on the break. While they ultimately take the lead, such a blunt strike force mean Leicester become increasingly desperate in clinging on for an eighth 1-0 win of the season, and Swansea's pressure eventually tells with a late equalizer.

Another draw, this time at Old Trafford

Vardy returns against Manchester United (or maybe he doesn't) but with United now into the FA Cup final and the United players scrapping it out for inclusion in Louis Van Gaal's team in the final (given Van Gaal's liberal approach to selecting players in preferred positions, there are plenty of options for each player) and inspired by the United force of old to impede any title challengers with the ferocity of the Alex Ferguson days, a highly motivated team hold Leicester scoreless.

Naturally, with Wayne Rooney replacing Marcus Rashford, United fail to score. The result leaves United with some pride at the end of a soporific season and means Leicester are just a point ahead of Tottenham with two games to go.

An inspiring comeback win against Everton

Having lost in the FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United, Everton's season is virtually over, and what will likely be their last home game under Roberto Martinez ends much like the other home games: they twice take the lead, only to surrender it twice and ultimately lose out to a last-minute winner. Spurs win also, meaning that Leicester are one point ahead of Spurs as the title race goes to the final day.

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Incredible drama as Leicester draw at Stamford Bridge, and Spurs beat Newcastle

Chelsea, having achieved absolutely nothing of note all season other than entertain the masses with Jose Mourinho's complete breakdown of character and principle belatedly decide to influence the title race by giving Leicester a pointlessly difficult game at Stamford Bridge. It ends 1-1, and as Spurs beat Newcastle, Leicester heartbreakingly miss out on the title, having lead the league for so long.

In the end, the nerves that began to show against West Ham envelop the club as they falter at the last, picking up just five points in their final games to finish two points behind Tottenham. As proof of Spurs' eternal curse, their unlikely title victory is remembered with regret by everyone, for Pochettino's brazen ignorance in denying us all a fairy tale champion. Still, at least he made it interesting.

If that seems too realistic for you, here are a couple of more unlikely scenarios which could call a halt to the Leicester romance:

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Another Thai orgy 

*Insert screenshot of your choice here*

The season began with Nigel Pearson's son being sacked for racially abusing a Thai prostitute in an orgy, so perhaps things could come full circle before the season's end, and the squad will be destabilized by an important player being caught on camera in a compromising position. We will allow you to speculate as to who that would be. Although we doubt it would be Jamie Vardy.

Punishment under financial regulations

The Guardian reported last week that the League were investigating Leicester's sponsorship deal with Trestellar Ltd in January 2014, which immediately boosted their coffers by £11 million, allowing them to avoid punishment under the Football League's financial fair play rules.The company was newly-formed before sponsoring Leicester, and was set up on a Sheffield trading estate by the son and daughter of Sir Dave Richards, who has close ties with Leicester's Thai owners. Could the punishment, if there is to be one, arrive at an incredibly difficult time?

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So with all that in mind, here's to the real underdogs in all this. To Spurs, because if they don't win it this year, it's quite possible they never will.


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