Throughout the past 14 seasons that the East-Midlanders have been in the Premier League, the Foxes have enjoyed mixed fortunes on the first day of the campaign. Today, we look at their return to the top-flight in 2014 up until the present day.
Long-awaited return and title win
Following a ten-year absence from the Premier League after relegation in 2004, which included a brief detour into the third tier, Leicester returned with a bang in a 2-2 draw with Roberto Martinez’s Everton. Aiden McGeady gave the Toffees the lead with a brilliant strike before summer signing Leonardo Ulloa levelled matters with a debut goal. Steven Naismith put the visitors back in control on the stroke of half-time. Leicester were not finished there as Chris Wood netted an 86th-minute equaliser.
Arguably the Foxes’ most eye-catching opening day result came in the season they shocked the world to lift the Premier League title. Claudio Ranieri had taken the reins in the summer months and masterminded a stunning first-half showing against Sunderland as Riyad Mahrez scored twice, with Jamie Vardy getting in on the act. Marc Albrighton also scored after the break and despite Steven Fletcher and Jermain Defoe reducing the deficit for the Black Cats, the Foxes were not to be denied their first opening day Premier League win since 1997.
Three consecutive defeats
After their miraculous title win, Leicester could not have been given a better opening clash the following campaign than against managerless Hull City. Adama Diomande gave the newly-promoted side a shock lead on the stroke of the interval with an acrobatic effort before Mahrez equalised from the penalty spot. Robert Snodgrass sealed the points for the Tigers though with a drive from range with just over half an hour remaining.
Another loss came a year later against Arsenal in the form of a 4-3 thriller. Alexandre Lacazette scored after just two minutes for the Gunners, with Shinji Okazaki equalising just moments later. Goals continued to be exchanged before half-time as Vardy and Danny Welbeck both got themselves on the scoresheet. The Foxes reclaimed the lead through Vardy but a spectacular comeback from the hosts with goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud turned the game around late on.
A season after the Emirates blockbuster, the Foxes were handed another tough assignment, going up against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba opened the scoring within three minutes from the penalty spot and despite a spirited showing from Claude Puel’s Leicester, the points were wrapped up late on by Luke Shaw. Vardy did give Foxes’ supporters something to cheer in the final minute by netting his first goal of the season but it was yet another opening day defeat.
The most recent clash came just a year ago and quite the opposite to some of the fantastic clashes that the Foxes have produced in recent times, it ended goalless. Going up against Wolverhampton Wanderers at home, the visitors could have claimed the lead through Leander Dendoncker but his strike was ruled out by VAR.