London, United Kingdom | AFP |
Premier League leaders Leicester City qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history on Sunday.
Leicester’s 2-0 win away to Sunderland allied to fifth-placed Manchester United’s 3-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur guaranteed the Foxes a top-four finish and with it one of the places on offer to English teams in European club football’s elite competition next season.
Jamie Vardy’s second-half double at the Stadium of Light powered Leicester, 5,000/1 rank outsiders for the English title before the start of the season, to victory over relegation-threatened Sunderland.
And in Sunday’s late kick-off match, United’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League suffered a setback when they conceded three goals in six second-half minutes as second-placed Spurs maintained their title bid.
United’s defeat left them 19 points adrift of Leicester, with only a maximum of 18 available from their final six league games of the season.
As a result, Leicester are now assured of a top-four finish.
This means that, at worst, they will be assured of a spot in Champions League qualifying should they suffer a slump that sees them come fourth, although a place in the tournament proper is the far more likely outcome.