So far this season Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City side have earnt the affectionate title of the 'comeback kings' as a result of their unlikely recoveries.
The Foxes, who are only enjoying their second consecutive season in the Barclays Premier League, have already recovered seven points from losing positions (a top-flight high). After securing a 2-2 draw against Southampton on Saturday afternoon, the Midlanders are currently sitting pretty in fifth place within the Premier League.
However, the team yet again had to come from behind after going two goals down. Having so far subjected the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Stoke City and Bournemouth to this treatment during the current season, how do any of these comebacks rate in the history of Leicester City?
10) A villainous recovery - February 1995
Heading into a cold winter match at Villa Park, Mark McGhee's Leicester side had only gained four wins all season in the Premier League and looked certain for relegation. Also, having only scored nine goals in 12 previous matches, a victory for Aston Villa looked a formality.
Predictably, the Birmingham-based side strode into a commanding lead as strikes from Dean Saunders, Steve Staunton and ex-Manchester United man Dwight Yorke looked to have secured the three points despite what seemed to be a consolation goal from Mark Robins. In fact, Brian Little's side extended their advantage thanks to a delightful chip from Tommy Johnson that set the game at 4-1.
However, the Midlands clash was about to take a dramatic turn. On 67 minutes, Welsh forward Iwan Roberts pulled a goal back for the Foxes and they never looked back. In amazing fashion, the tenacious Leicester then netted twice more thanks to a late brace from David Lowe (including a 90th minute equaliser) to draw the game level at 4-4 and send the away end into raptures.
9) Playoff Pandemonium - May 1993
A game that sparks so many memories for Foxes supporters, the Leicester City - Swindon Town Playoff Final will go down as one of the best games ever witnessed on Wembley Way.
After enjoying a relatively solid league campaign in the second tier, in which they finished sixth, Brian Little's Leicester side headed into the playoff final in a confident mood. Coming up against a stern test in the form of the Robins, most neutrals were expecting an enthralling clash in the capital.
Nevertheless, most would not have been expecting what happened next. By the 53rd minute, Swindon were already 3-0 up thanks to goals from Glenn Hoddle, Craig Maskell and Shaun Taylor, triggering some Leicester supporters to exit the National Stadium early. But, the Midlanders were not going down without a fight...
In an unbelievable 12 minutes, the Foxes somehow drew level. Goals from Julian Joachim, Steve Walsh and Steve Thompson stunned Swindon, viewers and pretty much the whole of Wembley. However, it was unfortunately not to be for Little's team as a contentious 84th minute penalty earned the Robins promotion instead of the brave Foxes.
8) Drinkwater hammers the Hornets - February 2014
With Nigel Pearson's Leicester City enjoying a nine-match winning run on their way to promotion from the Sky Bet Championship, Hertfordshire-based Watford threatened to halt the Foxes’ progress.
With Fernando Forestieri and Sean Murray netting early in the first-half, Giuseppe Sannino's Hornets stunned the otherwise vocal King Power Stadium and the Foxes looked to be on course for their first league loss since the 7th of December.
However, following good play from Ritchie de Laet on the right-side of midfield, former Manchester United youngster Matty James was able to turn home a low cross to reduce the Foxes' arrears. But, despite a dominant second period, the hosts were just unable to find the back of the net again and earn a point.
This was until their Player of the Year, Danny Drinkwater, decided to hit a half-volley from 30 yards out. In a dramatic last-minute the ball flew past goalkeeper, Manuel Almunia and arrowed into the top corner. With a goal that gained the Leicester City Goal of the Season award and one that will be remembered for many years to come, Drinkwater sent the home fans wild and preserved the club's unbeaten record.
7) Forest take a crazy Cup comeback - September 2007
In a game that was replayed thanks to the original clash being abandoned as a result of a Clive Clarke heart problem (thankfully the City defender was fine), the bizarre nature of the game never faded. With Nottingham Forest leading the first clash 1-0 before it was abandoned, Gary Megson's Leicester City offered an extraordinary act of sportsmanship to their Midlands rivals.
In the first minute at the City Ground, Forest goalkeeper, Paul Smith, was allowed to walk the ball into the net to restore the Reds' original advantage. Though, the Foxes were soon level thanks to a brilliant Alan Sheehan free-kick which only added drama to the game. Despite the hosts edging ahead yet again via a powerful shot from Marton Fulop, it was Leicester who were to take the victory.
Although they were losing up until the 88th minute, Megson's new side took the game by the scruff of the neck. Finishing from close range, current Fulham defender Richard Stearman hauled the Foxes level with only minutes to spare. But, as the seconds ticked down, the away side dramatically snatched the win as well as the local bragging rights as Stephen Clemence hammered home a dramatic late goal to allow the Foxes to progress to the next round.
6) Pearson discovers 'Foxes Never Quit' - April 1997
In an ironic turn of events at Wembley Stadium, Leicester City denied future manager, Nigel Pearson, arguably his greatest night as a player. Having bypassed the likes of Manchester United and AFC Wimbledon on their route to the 1997 League Cup Final, the Foxes faced a tough opponent in the form of Bobby Robson's Middlesbrough.
Playing the full 90 minutes without a goal, the match went the full way and required extra-time to determine a victor. As it happened, it was the men wearing red that took the lead and at the time broke Leicester City hearts. In the 105th minute of the match, former Juventus striker Fabrizio Ravanelli powered the ball past American 'keeper Kasey Keller to give Nigel Pearson's Middlesbrough the lead.
However, as the famous commentary states, 'defeat is not in Leicester City's vocabulary'. With Bobby Robson ready to lift the trophy, Leicester academy product, Emile Heskey, fumbled home a 118th minute equaliser to the delight of Foxes' supporters. In an unbelievable turn of events, Martin O'Neill's side had turned certain defeat into hope as the game was forced into a replay at Hillsborough (in which the Foxes were victorious).
5) The Italian Job – September 2015
After being appointed in the summer of 2015 following the departure of popular manager Nigel Pearson, ex-Inter Milan and Chelsea boss, Claudio Ranieri, was met with some trepidation from supporters. However, with the Foxes gaining eleven points out of their first possible 15, pundits and fans alike were understandably impressed.
Nevertheless, as Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa visited the East Midlands, it appeared that they had not received the memo. In a move that silenced the King Power Stadium, the Villains edged 2-0 ahead thanks to great strikes from Birmingham-born Englishman Jack Grealish and Spanish creative midfielder Carles Gil. As the game edged into the final twenty minutes, some supporters lost hope of salvaging anything from the game.
This was until Belgian full-back Ritchie de Laet pulled a goal back for the Foxes with a smart finish from a Leicester City corner. With renewed fight and passion, amazingly, Ranieri’s team netted yet again only ten minutes later. Following great play from Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy poked the ball home to draw the game level.
But, the drama was not quite finished. After being introduced at half-time, debutant Nathan Dyer netted what was to be the winning goal in the 87th minute. Springing the Villa offside trap, the diminutive winger outjumped Brad Guzan and nodded home the ball, sending the home fans crazy in the process.
4) Spurs are stunned – January 2006
In what proved to be an extremely underwhelming season for Leicester City as they searched for promotion to the Premier League, there were very little highlights. However, a particular FA Cup Third Round clash against Tottenham Hotspur does stick in the mind.
Heading into the clash, the fortunes of both teams couldn't have been any different. Whilst Spurs were flying high in Fourth position in the top flight, the Foxes were languishing in the Championship relegation zone. As it happened in the early exchanges of the clash, it looked like the game was going to go true to form.
Early on (at the then-named Walkers Stadium), goals from Jermaine Jenas and Paul Stalteri had put the North London outfit firmly in control and it looked a formality that Martin Jol’s men would progress to the next round. Despite Elvis Hammond pulling a goal back late in the first half, the game still seemed a breeze for a team of Spurs' quality.
However, with the second period only 12 minutes old, Craig Levein’s Foxes struck yet again thanks to a deflected goal from Stephen Hughes. Now, with the game firmly in the balance, it looked as though the clash was bound for a replay at White Hart Lane as the score read 2-2 with the 90th minute approaching.
On the other hand, Leicester were ready to show plenty of grit and determination, regardless of their perilous league position. In what was one of the last kicks of the game, Dutch striker Mark De Vries amazingly claimed the win for the home side. Burying the ball past Paul Robinson, the 30-year-old striker ignited the Walkers Stadium and dumped his top-flight counterparts out of the FA Cup within a flash.
3) Another rivalry recovery – May 2013
In simple terms, this was a huge game for Leicester City. Travelling to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest on the final day of the 2012/13 season, the Foxes had to win (and hope other results went their way) to claim a play-off place following a turgid run of form.
After being firmly placed in the automatic promotion places in February, Nigel Pearson’s team slumped to eighth after only winning two games out of 16. With their Midland rivals ready to pounce on the vacant playoff spot, this clash could hardly have been any bigger.
But, the Foxes did not start well at the City Ground. Thanks to a Simon Cox goal, Billy Davies’ team snatched the lead in only the third minute which caused the Leicester fans to fall silent. However, strikes from Matty James and Andy King swung the topsy-turvy clash into the Foxes’ favour as an enthralling first half drew to a close.
With supporters’ nerves being shredded, the Blues unfortunately started the second half as they had done the first; conceding early. In only the 50th minute of the game, Elliott Ward nodded a great cross past Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to cancel-out Leicester’s advantage.
However, it was the men from the King Power Stadium who were to steal the victory in dramatic fashion. With Forest clumsily giving the ball away, the Foxes launched a lethal counter attack in the 93rd minute. Exchanging passes, Chris Wood and Anthony Knockaert powered up the field and bore down on Karl Darlow’s goal. As most (if not all) Leicester supporters will remember, it was the latter who rolled the ball past the helpless Englishman to secure a seemingly-impossible playoff position.
2) Walsh goal stuns Wenger – August 1997
After going undefeated in their first three games of the 1997/98 season (against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa), Martin O’Neill’s Leicester City team came up against North London outfit Arsenal. With both teams enjoying good starts to the season, fans were expecting a spectacle.
As a matter of fact, this is exactly what the fans packed into Filbert Street got. It was in fact the Gunners who drew the first blood thanks to a Dennis Bergkamp goal after only nine minutes on the clock. As a matter of fact, the ex-Ajax and Inter Milan man doubled Arsenal's advantage just after the hour mark, too. In what was a hard-fought clash up to that point, a somewhat lucky deflection off Kasey Keller gave the talented Dutchman his second goal that looked like it had secured the three points for Arséne Wenger’s side.
Yet, as had become typical of O'Neill’s Foxes, they were not done yet. In a crazy six minutes, the Mildanders were somehow level. Strikes from then 19 year-old Emile Heskey and popular centre-back Matt Elliott in the 84th and 90th minute deadlocked the clash. Nevertheless, Bergkamp was to have another say on the proceedings. Utilising his incredible skill and talent, the priceless playmaker bamboozled the Leicester defence and curled the ball home to claim his hat-trick and surely the three points in what was the 94th minute.
With the Gunners celebrating under the lights on a warm evening in the Midlands and only a matter of seconds of the game remaining, there was only one man who could step up.
In the 96th minute, the Foxes earned a corner and flooded everyone wearing blue into the Arsenal penalty area. After exchanging headers with fellow defender Elliott, legendary captain Steve Walsh powered the ball past David Seaman to send the home fans wild and secure a memorable point.
1) Gaal-acticos Grounded – September 2014
Surely one of the best Leicester City games in recent memory, the Foxes managed to dismantle the most expensively-assembled Manchester United side ever. Fielding stars such as Angel di María, Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, the Red Devils arrived at the King Power Stadium as favourites to overwhelm the newly-promoted Leicester City.
As it happened, this is initially how the game panned out. Netting via a van Persie header coupled with a delightful chip from Argentine winger di Maria, Louis van Gaal’s men were in control of the match as early as the 16th minute. However, almost immediately, Leonardo Ulloa powered a header past David de Gea to halve the deficit. But, Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera scored with a smart flick on the 57th minute to put the score at 3-1 and surely the game beyond Nigel Pearson’s team.
The game then took an amazing turn. A David Nugent penalty and a stunning equaliser from home-debutant Esteban Cambiasso hauled the Foxes level and stunned the Red Devils. However, the Foxes were not finished there. On a lethal counter-attack, Jamie Vardy rolled the ball into the net, gaining his first goal of the season and snatching the lead in the 79th minute.
With the home fans buoyant and the team playing with confidence, the Foxes netted yet again courtesy of a neatly-taken penalty from Ulloa - securing all three points in a dramatic win against all odds.