Leicester claim first victory … after tragic death of club owner

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel even ran the length of the pitch to join in with the celebrations in front of their fans

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel even ran the length of the pitch to join in with the celebrations in front of their fans

THE fragility of life has been the focus of thoughts for Leicester City last week. Training has come secondary to talking.

That sense of somberness will take a long time to shift, but back on the pitch, back where normality could briefly blossom, the ferocity of football took its grip.

For 90 minutes, that luminous yellow ball felt like the most important thing in the world.

It was there in the way Leicester appealed loudly for a first-half penalty that Lee Probert erroneously failed to award.

It was there in the way the whole team, Kasper Schmeichel included, ran to celebrate Demarai Gray’s excellent goal in the 55th minute.

Claude Puel said in advance the result would be inconsequential. He was showing his humanity. But be sure Leicester’s players wanted a result here. They were desperate to win this one.

Credit to them that they shook the cloud of grief from their minds and delivered a performance that was in parts defiant, composed, and creative.

Gray’s goal came from the latter category. Marc Albrighton freed Ben Chiwell down the left and Gray met the cross on the half-volley to sweep past Neil Etheridge. It was the perfect way to honour Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Moments later, in the 60th minute to coincide with the Leicester chairman’s age, away supporters sung ‘When You’re Smiling,’ the club anthem. It had certainly been a goal to please the soul.

Cardiff were game participants. They were no patsies. Clearly Neil Warnock would not allow sympathy for opponents to affect the necessities of his own team. They pressured at various points, but Leicester stood firm.

At the final whistle the players looked to the skies, roared with joy, and gathered for a collective gasp of emotion.

“I feel proud,” said Schmeichel. “It was always going to be an emotional day but I’m glad we got three points for him.

“He had a really big impact on my life. We are all really hurting but we cannot imagine what his family are going through.” - MailOnline

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