Five Moments that shaped a Season – An EPL Review 2015-16

The Premier League season is over (well, almost) and it’s been the most dramatic that anyone can remember. The facts will tell us that Leicester City shocked the footballing world to win the title by 10 points but there is so much more to look back on, after an enthralling nine-months of action; we now take a look at five stand-out moments from an incredible season.

OPENING DAY DRAMA AT STAMFORD BRIDGE

The campaign kicked-off on August 8 and defending champions (and favourites on all the best online betting websites) Chelsea, looked to have a routine opening-day game at home to Swansea City. Little did anyone know at the time, that the following chaotic 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge, would set the tone for the rest of the season. With the match tied at 2-2, Chelsea picked up an injury deep into injury time. The club’s matchday doctor Eva Carneiro, did what she would normally do, run onto the field to administer help to the stricken player only this time, as she set-off from the dug-out, she was met with an angry tirade from Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho who claimed in his press-conference later, that it was unprofessional to have left the team a man short for the final minutes of the match. The fall-out from these comments (which still continues) saw Carneiro quit her job at the club before taking the matter to court claiming unfair dismissal. Mourinho’s season continued to decline and he was sacked by the West London club in December.

 

SPURS HIT TOP FORM TO LEAVE MANCHESTER CITY STUNNED

With rumours continuing about Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City in the summer, current coach Manuel Pellegrini was under intense pressure to deliver silverware to the Etihad Stadium. At the end of September, he took his side to the capital to face Tottenham Hotspur who were making steady improvements under coach Mauricio Pocchetino. As the teams went in level at 1-1 at half-time, whatever the Argentine tactician said to his players in the dressing room worked to perfection as the home side battered the Citizens into submission in the second 45 minutes. A 4-1 final scoreline flattered Pellegrini’s men who could and should, have lost by many more. Spurs had laid out a statement of intent that would see them nearly claim the ultimate prize.

LEICESTER CITY END PELLEGRINI’S TITLE DREAMS

As we headed into February, Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City still sat top of the Premier League but many experts (and the betting exchanges) remained unconvinced that they would be able to keep up their momentum. The Foxes headed to the Etihad Stadium for a top of the table clash against Manchester City, who sat three points behind the league-leaders in second place. What people witnessed that day at a cold, rainy Manchester, was the moment Leicester City silenced any doubters as to whether they could win English football’s biggest prize. Inspired by the eventual player of the year Riyad Mahrez, the Foxes were 3-0 ahead by the hour mark and by the time Sergio Aguero had grabbed a consolation for the hosts in the closing minutes; most Manchester City fans were already making their way home safe in the knowledge that their team had been outclassed by a side that had more hunger and more desire to want to be the kings of England.

MANCHESTER UNITED FANS ASK FOR THE SPECIAL ONE AS PATIENCE WITH VAN GAAL EXPIRES

Another disappointing campaign at Old Trafford has left Manchester United without Champions League football next season. After December’s defeat at Wolfsburg eliminated them at the group stage of this season’s competition, fans reacted angrily demanding the club make a change at the helm as patience with Dutchman Louis van Gaal ran out. With Jose Mourinho out of work but dropping hints that he would love to be the next coach at the Theatre of Dreams, souvenirs bearing his name were on sale outside Old Trafford as Christmas approached. With every match reported to be his last in charge, van Gaal defiantly declared he was going nowhere and his press-conferences became his battle-ground, as he waged a personal vendetta against the media who had already written his obituary. As the campaign comes to a close and the Red Devils look forward to the FA Cup Final this weekend, we are still no nearer to knowing who will be on the bench at Old Trafford next season.

CHELSEA DOWN SPURS TO HAND THE TITLE TO LEICESTER

Monday, May 2nd 2016 will be a date that no fan of Leicester City will ever forget; a day that will go down in history as one of the greatest achievements in the modern game. Claudio Ranieri’s side had had a chance to win the Premier League title at Old Trafford two days earlier, but a 1-1 draw meant that the champagne had to be put on ice. They didn’t have to wait long however to pop open the bubbly as just 48 hours later, Spurs let a two-goal lead slip at Stamford Bridge to hand Leicester City their first ever domestic championship. As celebrations in the city began, their achievement went viral all around the world and suddenly, this small city in the East Midlands became the centre of the football universe. Celebrations are still going on, with the team ready to go on an open-top bus tour of the city on Monday, now clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have a new kid on the block to contend with and after what will probably go down as the most dramatic nine-months in the history of the game, who would bet against the Foxes ruffling a few more feathers next season both at home and abroad.

 

 

Steve Mitchell @barafundler

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