By John Percy, at the King Power Stadium
Two years ago this week Leicester City lifted the FA Cup for the first time in their history and it seemed as if the fairy tale would never end.
From winning the Premier League title in 2016 to those glorious European excursions, Leicester have enjoyed a remarkable period of success that taught football fans across the country how to dream.
Yet it now appears inevitable that Leicester are hurtling inexorably for the Championship, with their nine-year existence in the top division coming to an end. Hope is draining away, with misery intensifying, and this latest capitulation leaves the club two points adrift of safety.
When Trent Alexander-Arnold bent in a sumptuous free-kick 19 minutes from time.
Chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” were directed at Leicester’s shellshock players by the home supporters. It is now 22 defeats this season and relegation could confirmed with another at Newcastle United next Monday night.
Quite how a team containing the likes of James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes can be staring down the barrel is a shocking tale of underachievement.
These players have been sleepwalking towards the abyss for months and even at this point it seems the penny is yet to properly drop. The club’s motto “Foxes Never Quit” has tarnished.
It is a masterclass in negligence and the inquest into this nightmarish campaign will be painful and extensive. With eight players out of contract, and the futures of Maddison and Barnes uncertain, it will be a different squad next season.
Nobody symbolises the malaise more than Tielemans, who has ignored contract offers for over two years and is leaving as a free agent this summer. Tielemans’ decline has been as sharp as that of his club, and the Belgium international – who scored the winning goal in that 2021 FA Cup final against Chelsea – endured another poor evening.