Leicester City win at Charlton

This Week In History: O'Neill's First Win, Dublin's Charlton Winner & Vardy's Sevilla Strike

The seven days between 17-23 February in Leicester City's history included more important milestones and memorable moments for the Football Club.
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Martin O'Neill's early tenure at Filbert Street was threatening to become a short-lived affair after the Northern Irishman's side played out five draws and two defeats in his first seven games.


O'Neill's Foxes Up & Running With Wolves Success

Martin O'Neill sealed his first win as Leicester City manager against Mark McGhee's Wolves at Molineux on 21 February, 1996.

His arrival at Leicester came about following Mark McGhee's decision to leave the Club in favour of managing Wolverhampton Wanderers, who City faced on Wednesday 21 February, 1996.

Tensions were high as the Foxes fans travelled to Molineux to face their former manager, who had claimed Wolves were more likely to win promotion to the Premier League that season.

However, O'Neill would go on to enjoy his first league victory as Leicester's manager in Wolverhampton that night, courtesy of a brace from Emile Heskey and a single Iwan Roberts strike.

That 3-2 win would act as the first act of a remarkable reversal of fortunes as City went on to seal eight victories - four of which were consecutive - to secure a play-off berth in the old First Division.

The 1995/96 season ended with a Play-Off Final success over Crystal Palace, thanks to Steve Claridge's last-minute winner in extra-time, which kick-started a golden era for Leicester in the top flight.


Dublin's Last-Minute Winner Seals Charlton FA Cup Victory

Dion Dublin struck late on at the Valley to seal a 2-1 win for Leicester City, in the Championship, at top-flight Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup on 19 February, 2005.

By the time the Foxes visited Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup Fifth Round on Saturday 19 February, 2005, double League Cup winner O'Neill had long departed the Club.

Consecutive top-10 finishes in the Premier League or forays into European football were a distant memory as Craig Levein's Leicester battled relegation in the newly-renamed Championship.

However, the FA Cup offered light relief from league strife as City travelled to the capital to take on Alan Curbishley's established Premier League outfit for a place in the quarter-finals. 

Former Newcastle United defender Nikos Dabizas put the Foxes ahead at the Valley in the first half, only for Shaun Bartlett to restore parity on the scoresheet on the cusp of half-time.

However, the visitors were more than matching their hosts with Dion Dublin, Gareth Williams and Mark De Vries all going close to netting a winner for Levein's men.

In the 90th minute, up stepped Dublin, signed by former manager Micky Adams in the summer of 2004, to get a head on a cross into the box, sparking jubilant celebrations in the away end.


Vardy Nets Massive Away Goal At Sevilla

Jamie Vardy registered an away goal in a 2-1 defeat by Sevilla in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on 22 February, 2017.

If the league subtext of that clash at Charlton was a marker of Leicester's early millennium decline, then City's visit to FC Sevilla on Wednesday 22 February, 2017 was evidence of their excellent progress since.

As Premier League champions, a feat achieved in spite of 5,000/1 odds under Claudio Ranieri, the Foxes finished top of a UEFA Champions League group including FC Porto, Copenhagen and Club Brugge.

Their reward was a daunting two-legged tie against consecutive UEFA Europa League winners Sevilla, the first of which involved a trip to the atmospheric Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.

Sevilla enjoyed the majority of the attacking opportunities in Spain, going ahead through Pablo Sarabia and Joaquin Correa, but a 73rd-minute strike from Jamie Vardy gave City hope of a comeback.

It came as the result of a neat build-up play between Danny Drinkwater and Demarai Gray, with the former threading an inch-perfect pass to Vardy to score his first goal in European competition.

While Leicester weren't able to level the score on the night, the return leg at King Power Stadium would see the Blue Army toast one of the greatest nights in the Club's entire history.

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