As the final whistle blew at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, the unthinkable had happened. Leicester City, having swept aside second-placed Manchester City, were now 7/4 favourites for the Premier League title.
Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth put the cat amongst the pigeons, and the bookies’ now made Gunners joint favourites with the Foxes at 9/4.
The plot thickens. Arsenal and Leicester will meet at the Emirates on Sunday in what can, essentially, be described as a title decider.
It’s not the first time in English football history that the league championship has come down to its latter stages, however.
Liverpool 0 v 2 Arsenal (1988/89)
It was the final game of the 1988/89 season, and all Liverpool had to do to win the title was avoid defeat by two or more goals to Arsenal at Anfield. Easy, eh?
Erm, no. After a goalless first half the second period burst into life when Alan Smith rose like a salmon to nod home a free kick and put the Gunners in front.
They proceeded to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at the Reds, but could not find the goal that would have stolen the title from their hosts. With just 78 seconds remaining, Lee Dixon whacked a long hopeful ball forward that was nodded on by Smith. And there was Michael Thomas, charging forward from midfield, to clip the ball home and deny Liverpool the trophy in front of their own fans.
Liverpool 0 v 2 Chelsea (2013/14)
The 1988/89 debacle wouldn’t be the last time that Liverpool snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They were five points clear in 2013/14 when they welcomed Chelsea for a do-or-die fixture at Anfield once again.
In a match that will be forever remembered for perhaps the most ill-timed slip in sporting history, the Blues would win the game 2-0 courtesy of Steven Gerrard’s error and after dominating the Premier League campaign via the brilliance of the Suarez and Sturridge combination, the Reds were once again left empty handed.
And while the Chelsea game wasn’t a title decided per se, it was the encounter that led to their horrendous loss of form.
Chelsea 8 v 0 Wigan (2009/10)
Things were slightly more straightforward for Chelsea in the match that would make-or-break their 2000/10 campaign.
They were a point clear of Manchester United heading into this last game of the season, and so they knew that nothing but a win would be good enough.
The Stamford Bridge faithful needn’t have worried. Nicholas Anelka scored the opener after six minutes, Didier Drogba notched a hat-trick and John Terry got to legitimately lift the Premier League trophy for once.
Man City 3 v 2 QPR (2011/12)
Perhaps the most astonishing title decider came at the Etihad Stadium back in 2012, with the winner taking the spoils: Man City would win the league while QPR would avoid relegation. A draw would be of no use to either side.
With an hour gone, this encounter was level at 1-1 while City’s Manchester rivals and title challengers United were ahead via a Wayne Rooney goal.
The game entered stoppage time, and with the final whistle blown at United it was left to Roberto Mancini’s side to somehow conjure up two goals. Edin Dzeko raised hopes with a 92nd minute strike, but it was too little, too late.
Or was it. Sergio Aguero wriggled free in the penalty area to lash home a 95th minute winner and spark scenes of jubilation so rarely seen in this day-and-age of numbing and indeed dumbing down. Pandemonium ensued, and fans of all clubs across the globe couldn’t help but be moved.
So what have we learnt? Well, nothing really, apart from the fact that Liverpool tend to bottle big league title deciders. But one thing we can say for sure to Arsenal and Leicester City fans is that in these kinds of games anything can happen.