Leicester players plan night in front of the TV together
Published 02/05/2016 | 08:53
Leicester's players are likely to gather tonight - without manager Claudio Ranieri - to see if outgoing champions Chelsea can hand them the Barclays Premier League crown.
The Foxes missed their first chance to claim the title as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United after having a man sent off at Old Trafford.
But the point edged them a little closer to the most unlikely of successes and Chelsea could now finish the job for them by taking points off Tottenham.
Ranieri has said he will miss the game as he flies back from Italy following a brief trip home to visit his 96-year-old mother, but it will be different matter for the players.
"I think we have got to watch it," said midfielder Marc Albrighton. "I don't think we can ignore this one.
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"I didn't watch last week but I think when there is a chance to win the league, like this week, we have all got to watch it. I think we will probably spend the night all together."
The result at Old Trafford, after Wes Morgan cancelled out Anthony Martial's opener, took Leicester eight points clear with two games remaining. Spurs have a game in hand but now must win all three, starting at Stamford Bridge.
"Now I go back to Italy and I come back at the same time of the match," said Ranieri in his post-match press conference. "I will be the last man to know the result.
"I want to meet my mother. She is 96 years old and I'd like to go to have lunch with her."
Around 3,000 Leicester fans travelled to Manchester in the hope of witnessing historic title glory. They were in the mood to party throughout and celebrated wildly when Morgan headed a 17th-minute equaliser after Martial had capitalised on a nervy start by the visitors.
Despite the absence of suspended Jamie Vardy, they threatened to take charge in the second half but ultimately had to hang on after Danny Drinkwater was sent off for a second bookable offence late on.
Ranieri said: "I am so happy because we drew against a fantastic Manchester United. They play so well.
"Without Vardy it was difficult for us to stretch the defensive line but I am very pleased with our composure, performance. After the goal we keep calm and we score a goal. After that we got a lot of confidence and we played better."
Pushed on whether he would rather win the title before playing again, or on the pitch against Everton next weekend, Ranieri said: "I want to win, it is not important when, believe me."
United's fight for fourth place was overshadowed by Leicester's title bid but what initially seemed a frustrating result grew in value later in the day as Manchester City were beaten by Southampton.
Captain Wayne Rooney told MUTV: "We'll just have to keep working and trying to take maximum points from now to the end of the season and see where we end up."
There was controversy as United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was caught on camera appearing to elbow Robert Huth, but manager Louis van Gaal argued it was a reaction to having his hair pulled.
Asked if Fellaini could face retrospective action and a ban, Van Gaal said: "Then I expect first that Huth shall be getting a lot (of matches) because I don't think that is normal what he is doing. What Fellaini is doing is reacting like a human being."
The Dutchman added on the BBC: "Only in sex masochism. Then it is allowed."
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