Football: Leicester party in style as Sunderland eye survival

 Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy (right) celebrates with Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez (left) after scoring.
Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy (right) celebrates with Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez (left) after scoring.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Jamie Vardy scored twice to lead Leicester City's on-field party as they marked lifting the Premier League trophy with a 3-1 win at home to Everton on Saturday, while Sunderland climbed out of the relegation zone.

Leicester, 5,000/1 outsiders in pre-season, had already been crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history after second-placed Tottenham Hotspur could only draw with Chelsea on Monday - a match many of Claudio Ranieri's squad watched at former non-league forward Vardy's house.

It took Vardy, returning from a two-game ban, just five minutes to open Saturday's scoring at an already ecstatic King Power Stadium before Leicester stalwart Andy King, who played for the Midlands club when they were a third-tier side, made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute.

Vardy scored his second and Leicester's third from the penalty spot in the 65th minute to register his 24th league goal of the season - one behind fellow England striker Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur.

 
 

Minutes later, in the only slight disappointment of a joyous day for Leicester fans, Vardy missed out on a hat-trick when he blasted a second penalty over the crossbar.

Kevin Mirallas pulled a goal back late on but that did little to ease the growing pressure on Everton manager Roberto Martinez.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan lifted the Premier League trophy in front of a raucous crowd and a delighted Vardy told Sky Sports: "I can't put it into words.

"It's been a long and hard process to get where I am."

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, whose father Peter won several Premier League titles between the posts for Manchester United, added: "This is what dreams are made of, it is what you dream of as a kid."

The Foxes triumph also gave veteran boss Ranieri the first domestic title of his managerial career.

"Of course I am very, very happy. I think it was an amazing moment for me, I am not the youngest (manager)," said the 64-year-old Italian.

Earlier, Sunderland came from behind to beat Chelsea 3-2 at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats were 2-1 down against last season's champions, before two goals in three second-half minutes from Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe transformed the match.

Sunderland fell behind when Chelsea striker Diego Costa opened the scoring in the 14th minute.

But they were level four minutes before the break when Tunisia's Wahbi Khazri struck a brilliant 20-yard volley.

However, Chelsea still regained the lead before half-time through Nemanja Matic.

Borini though turned in Patrick van Aanholt's cut-back in the 67th minute and soon afterwards Defoe made it 3-2.

Chelsea's defeat was compounded when skipper John Terry was sent off late on.

Victory saw Sunderland go a point in front of Newcastle, who could only manage a goalless draw with already-relegated Aston Villa on Saturday.

If Sunderland win at home to Everton on Wednesday, they will stay up and relegate both Newcastle and Norwich City in the process.

"Our destiny is in our hands and a win against Everton will secure our Premier League future," said Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce.

Second-bottom Norwich moved closer to the drop after Juan Mata's 72nd-minute condemned them to a 1-0 home defeat by Manchester United at Carrow Road.

United's victory saw Louis van Gaal's fifth-placed side close to within a point of Manchester City, who currently occupy fourth spot and the last qualifying position for next season's Champions League.

City, looking to bounce back from their Champions League semi-final defeat by Real Madrid in midweek, play third-placed Arsenal at Eastlands on Sunday.

"I am indeed a Gunners fan tomorrow. After losing to Real Madrid, it is not easy for Manchester City to revive," van Gaal told BT Sport.

Dwight Gayle's two goals gave Crystal Palace a come-from-behind 2-1 win at home to Stoke City that secured the FA Cup finalists Premier League status.

Swansea beat West Ham 4-1 to all but end the London club's hopes of Champions League qualification.

They were 3-0 up inside 51 minutes at Upton Park thanks to goals from Wayne Routledge, Andre Ayew and Ki Seung-Yeung.

Stephen Kingsley's 68th-minute own-goal gave the Hammers hope before Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis scored in stoppage time.

Bournemouth and West Browmich Albion, both safe from the drop, shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Dean Court.

Salomon Rondon gave West Brom the lead before Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc saved Craig Gardner's penalty The Cherries equalised when substitute Matt Ritchie headed in eight minutes from time.

As well as the City-Arsenal match, Sunday also sees Liverpool - fresh from reaching the Europa League final - at home to Watford, while Tottenham face manager Mauricio Pochettino's former club Southampton.