Premier League champions Leicester City celebrated in style on Saturday as they thrashed lackluster Everton 3-1 behind two goals from Jamie Vardy and one from Andy King.
Fireworks erupted on the pitch before yellow and blue streamers cascaded from the roof after the preseason 5,000-1 title shots got their hands on the biggest prize in English football in the trophy celebration after the final whistle.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri was quick to pay tribute to the people who made the dream a reality saying:
“It is fantastic the people have been unbelievable thank you to them, they push behind us all season,” he said. “I was very, very, concentrated on being calm and of course I am very very happy. I think it was an amazing moment for me; I am not youngest.
“To lift the trophy is something special, you are champion of the Premier League, that is something special for me, of course, because I won some cups in Spain and Italy, but to be champion here is fantastic.
“In my career I always thought sooner or later I will win a title, but at the beginning I never thought here would be the place, but why not? This is a crazy season; big teams aren’t consistent in season.
“I believe at the top it is important to have a very good owner and I met fantastic people. When I first came, I thought this is a very good dressing room, all friends and I tried to build the Italian mentality, solid and strong. At beginning, it wasn’t working so well, but then after was fantastic
“At the beginning, it was very important to stay in Premier League for a few seasons and then move up but now we are champions.
“We know very well this is a strange year and have to put it aside and be focused on next season: the foundations are strong.”
At the bottom of the table Jermain Defoe was again the toast of Sunderland on Saturday after his winner in a 3-2 victory over Chelsea lifted them out of the relegation zone, leaving Newcastle United and Norwich City on the verge of the drop.
Sunderland’s fans enjoyed a party of their own at the Stadium of Light as Defoe scored his 15th league goal of the season to lead a stunning comeback victory against Chelsea who had captain John Terry sent off in added time for a second booking.
Twice Sunderland had to come from behind, first after Diego Costa had put Chelsea ahead and then, following Wahbi Khazri’s equaliser, after Nemanja Matic had put the visitors 2-1 up on the stroke of half-time.
Three minutes after Fabio Borini’s 67th-minute equaliszr, Defoe, capitalizing on a poor clearance from John Obi Mikel, smashed home the winner. Terry then received marching orders deep into injury time for a second bookable foul, a decision that Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink called “a little bit over the top.”
With Norwich losing 0-1 to Manchester United and Newcastle only able to come away with a goalless draw at doomed Aston Villa, the victory means Sunderland, with two games remaining, will be safe if they beat Everton on Wednesday.
Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle, who are a point behind north-east neighbours Sunderland in 18th place despite having played a game more, would then be relegated along with Norwich who are 19th and have two matches left but remain three points behind the Magpies.
United’s win at Norwich, courtesy of Juan Mata’s fifth goal against the Canaries, leaves them in fifth place, one point behind neighbours Manchester City who occupy the fourth Champions League qualification spot and face fellow contenders Arsenal on Sunday.