Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester moved a step closer to landing Premier League title odds of 13/50 with a fifth 1-0 win in six games against Southampton.
In seeing out yet another success by a single goal, the Foxes also strengthened the case that, should they go on to be crowned champions, they will be the most ‘clutch’ titlists since the top flight was reincarnated in 1992/93.
No previous Premier League winner has ever come close to seeing out as many of their wins by the slenderest of margins.
Early in the campaign, Leicester’s indefatigability was defined by a refusal to accept defeat and several late and decisive strikes.
Of late, it has been characterised by an iron-willed concentration and diligence in defence of leads.
Victory over the Saints was Leicester’s seventh 1-0 triumph this term and the 14th of their 20 wins to come by a one-goal margin.
That equates to 70% of their triumphs coming by the slimmest possible distance, a far greater ratio than any previous champion in Premier League history.
Leicester remain some way short of the amount of 1-0 wins (11) Chelsea recorded in 2004/05 or the ten Manchester United posted in 2008/09.
Nevertheless, only one other title-winning side since 1992/93 (United in 1995/96) can better their total with six games still to play.
Meanwhile, no kingpins in the division’s 23-year past has ever claimed more than 57% of their victories by the most nerve-shredding of margins, while only five have posted more than 50% of their successes in cushion-free fashion.
If Leicester go on to become champions, having taken so many of their wins by the odd goal, their campaign will be the polar opposite of Manchester City’s title in 2013/14 under Manuel Pellegrini.
The Chilean’s Citizens secured 78% of their 27 wins by at least two goals, with just two achieved by a 1-0 scoreline, record highs and lows respectively for a Premier League title winner.