Leicester City book Champions League place after Sunderland win
Leicester City have officially qualified for Champions League football for the first time next season following their 2-0 win over Sunderland and Manchester United's 3-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.
The victory at the Stadium of Light took Claudio Ranieri's men onto 72 points, and with United losing at White Hart Lane the Foxes cannot now finish any lower than fourth in the Premier League -- which books a place in the final qualifying round.
Yes! Champions League guaranteed! Better start practicing my Rabonas- robert huth (@robert_huth) April 10, 2016
The Foxes last played in Europe in the 2000-01 UEFA Cup, and never previously got beyond the first round in continental competition in three campaigns.
Their debut appearance came in the 1961-62 European Cup Winners' Cup, when they beat Glenavon in the preliminary round before losing 3-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid in the first round. They then lost to Atletico again, 4-1 on aggregate, in the 1997-98 UEFA Cup.
In 2000-01, they were knocked out 4-2 on aggregate by Red Star Belgrade.
Leicester will have to wait until next weekend for the chance to confirm their place in the group stage via a top-three finish.
If Leicester win the Premier League they will be seeded in next season's Champions League group stage draw along with the champions of Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Russia and the title holders.
Good morning, everyone. pic.twitter.com/O6Kwbi4jVj- Leicester City (@LCFC) April 11, 2016
There is no chance that Leicester could be robbed of a place in the Champions League if Manchester City and Liverpool win the Champions League and Europa League respectively. If both clubs lift the European trophies, and both finish outside the top four, then fourth in the Premier League drops into the Europa.
This is because there is a maximum of five teams from one national association in the Champions League, and City and Liverpool would qualify as title holders leaving only three spots for the league. It is not mathematically possible for Leicester to finish fourth and Man City outside the top four.