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2000: Delighted Taylor tops the Premiership

This week in Leicester City’s history takes us back to the start of the millennium

Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor, good start!

We here at Fosse Posse love to bring you the latest news and opinions on our great football club, which we all love, Leicester City. But we also like to reminisce and look through blue tinted glasses at how our team have come through the last 133 years.

We’ll delve way back and highlight the likes of Arthur Chandler, Frankie Wortho and others, as well as Cup Finals, landmark achievements and moments that have just filled us with joy (and sometimes despair)!

Sunday 1st October 2000

Premier League

Sunderland 0 Leicester City 0

Why would a dull 0-0 away at Sunderland produce so much joy and celebration among the travelling fans of Leicester? Maybe because Peter Taylor’s Leicester had just topped the Premier League.

The game was to be played on a Sunday due to City playing the UEFA Cup tie the Thursday before, getting knocked out by Red Star Belgrade in the process.

After this draw, Taylor's team were now unbeaten in 8 league games, and thanks to Arsenal beating Manchester United on the same Sunday afternoon, we climbed to the top.

The dire goalless draw was lost in the memory for most, apart from those Leicester fans who would spend the next fortnight as the best team in the league, thanks to an international break.

City showed the Premiership why they had the best defensive record by holding Sunderland, and their lethal strike partnership of Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn, at bay with some sterling work at the back - led by the ever reliable Matt Elliott.

It was Leicester though who looked likely to score during the opening moments of the match.

Foxes' striker Ade Akinbiyi did well to collect a long ball from the Leicester defence but after eluding the Sunderland defence he screwed his effort wide of Thomas Sorensen's right-hand post.

Leicester v S''land X
Ade Akinbiyi - he nearly scored a goal once

Kevin Phillips went closest for the Black Cats in the first half but Richard Cresswell was guilty of spurning a headed effort from inside the six-yard box.

Five minutes before the break, Quinn latched on to a measured ball into the box from Kilbane but both Matt Elliott and Gerry Taggart were on hand to snuff out the tall striker's attempt on goal.

The second half saw Sunderland enjoying the lion's share of the possession but Leicester always posed a threat and it was the two new signings that season, Callum Davidson and Richard Cresswell who combined well to almost break the deadlock.

The left back's whipped cross beat the Sunderland's defence to find Cresswell who could only power his header straight into the arms of Sorensen.

The save of the match came after 70 minutes when Tim Flowers dived low to his left to make a superb reaction stop from a Quinn header.

The game petered out as both defences stood strong, with both managers acknowledging this at the end.

Sunderland manager Peter Reid said

"They defended terrifically well, you can't play the ball through them so we had to go wide, but we didn't have that bit of magic needed to break them down. There were not enough quality crosses, and those that we did get in seemed to stick to Mr Elliott's head."

This was Taylor’s happiest time as boss of the foxes and he enjoyed the moment

"I am surprised but delighted, as a new manager you pray for a good start, particularly when you follow someone like Martin O'Neill. I cannot thank the players enough, but they deserve it."

Next up for City was the team they had knocked off the top, Manchester United at Filbert Street, which would see our season move back down the other way.

However for 2 weeks we were kings of the Premiership, little knowing it would become even better 16 years later.