Leicester City promoted to Premier League after Leeds lose at QPR

Leicester City were flying in their campaign to return to the Premier League earlier this season but, after a serious loss of form late on, they have recovered to vault over the finishing line.

Tuesday’s 5-0 hammering of Southampton made it back-to-back wins for a side that had looked to be stumbling towards automatic promotion.

In mid-February, the title and rise back to the top flight seemed inevitable – Leicester were 12 points clear at the summit and had a 14-point cushion to third spot.

The Foxes, some said, were aboard the ‘Marescalator’ – an upwardly mobile, smooth-passing, possession-hungry machine operated by their Italian boss Enzo Maresca, who was taking Leicester only one way: straight up.

But then they seized up.

Four losses and just one win from six matches – including a dramatic defeat by Leeds who were 17 points adrift of Leicester at the start of January – turned it into a four-way battle for a top-two finish – with the Whites, Ipswich and Southampton the other contenders.

For all but two of the 176 days between 23 September and 17 March, Leicester had been top.

They were replaced by Leeds before Ipswich shot ahead of them both, forcing Leicester out of the automatic promotion spots by the end of March.

But just as Leicester faltered, those around them also dropped crucial points, allowing the Foxes a chance to regroup and seal their top-flight return.

What awaits them in the Premier League, however, remains uncertain.

The club are due to face an independent commission after they were charged by the Premier League for alleged breaches of profit and sustainability rules (PSR) relating to their last three years in the top flight.

Tonight, a triumphant return is celebrated but, if found guilty of financial breaches, they could begin next season with a points penalty.

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