Riyad Mahrez moved Leicester one step closer to pulling off the most remarkable title success in decades with the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Claudio Ranieri’s side sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after Algeria winger Mahrez’s 16th league goal of the season piled the pressure on Tottenham, 24 hours before the second-placed side face Bournemouth at White Hart Lane.
No matter the outcome of that clash, Leicester will head into their remaining seven games of the season as strong favourites to become the most unlikely champions in English football history.
This time 12 months ago, Leicester were rooted at the foot of the table following a defeat to Tottenham before embarking on a run of seven wins in nine games to stay up.
A similar run this time around will deliver an astonishing first ever top-flight title to the unheralded Foxes.
For Palace, this defeat marked the latest setback in a terrible run that has left Alan Pardew’s team without a win in 13 league games and in danger of being dragged down towards the relegation zone.
Selhurst Park has proved a testing environment for teams challenging for the title, with Liverpool and Manchester City both suffering damaging defeats in south London in the previous two season.
Ranieri’s side, however, have handled everything that has come their way since their challenge began to be taken seriously at the turn of the year.
A succession of single-goal victories suggest Leicester have been forced to work hard for points recently but equally underlined their impressive resilience.
And the way Leicester started against Palace suggested they are not a side gripped by nerves as they approach the final weeks of their title bid.
A powerful early run down the left hand flank from Shinji Okazaki should have led to an opening goal for the visitors, but Mahrez was unable to connect with his header in front of an open goal.
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