It’s now 15 years since Leicester won an opening day match on the road. At half time in yesterday’s match I struggled to remember City overturning big deficits to win points away from home. The last time the Foxes recovered from 2-0 down on the road was a 2-2 draw at Watford in 2005. I think I’m right in saying the last time City took a point after being 3 goals behind was the 4-4 draw at Aston Villa in the 1994/95 season, Leicester having been 4-1 behind with around 12 minutes to go.
So great comebacks on the road have been few and far between. But hope is at hand. Losing on the opening day hasn’t stopped City promotion campaigns in the past.
Between the wars the Foxes managed this twice. In the 1924/25 season City lost 1-0 at Manchester United and were beaten four times in their opening seven matches. Despite the dismal start, Leicester went on to take the Division Two title by two points from the Red Devils after losing just one game from the beginning of December to the end of the season.
The opening day of the 1936/37 season saw City go down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Blackpool. The Foxes started the season with six defeats in their first ten matches but still went on to take the title.
More recently Leicester lost 1-0 at home to Cardiff City to begin the 1970/71 campaign. However, it proved to be one of only two home defeats all season. The Foxes went unbeaten for the rest of the season following their only other home loss on the 16th January 1971 to secure promotion.
Perhaps City’s best recovery came in the 1982/83 season. Charlton were the visitors to Filbert Street on the opening day and took all three points courtesy of a 2-1 win. Leicester lost four of their opening seven games that year and by the end of November found themselves in 15th position with just 20 points.
On the 19th February 1983 the Foxes suffered their 12th defeat if the season. It was a result that left them in 6th place, 12 points adrift of 3rd placed Fulham. But that defeat would prove to be City’s last of the season and on the final day a goalless draw at home to relegated Burnley was enough to secure promotion after Fulham went down to a 1-0 defeat at Derby.
Of Leicester’s 12 successful promotion campaigns, four came after opening day defeats. After yesterday’s second half performance, there’s still hope that this season can be a positive one too.