Spain 2010 = Leicester 2016?
When they won the World Cup in 2010, Spain did so by winning each one of their knockout matches 1-0.
Many remember that team as one of the greatest of modern times, but a look at the binary nature of their scorelines would suggest that they were forced to dig out the final few results on their path to glory, and it looks like Leicester are doing the same.
Alright, this one didn't finish 1-0 as Jamie Vardy added a second strike in stoppage time, but it was their first goal which underlined exactly what they are good at.
Subtlety is not their strongpoint, but as this remarkable season heads to a close, their consistency is what should now see them over the line.
Sunderland’s Season Will Be Decided In Norwich
Much like Alan Partridge’s radio career, Sunderland’s best work of this messy season now has to come in Norwich next weekend.
Win Saturday’s vital early kick-off and Sam Allardyce’s side will move to within one point of the Canaries with a game in hand, but a defeat would open up a seven-point chasm between themselves and safety – surely too big a mountain to climb.
Everything looks to be on the line at Carrow Road, where it won’t be one for the faint-hearted.
Penalty Parity Shows Officials Need Help
Leicester should have had a penalty in the first half when DeAndre Yedlin tried to kick Shinji Okazaki upfield instead of the ball, but then Sunderland should have had one minutes later when Robert Huth stopped Patrick van Aanholt from teeing up Jermain Defoe with his hand.
Evidence that these things even themselves out over the course of 45 minutes, never mind a season? Perhaps, but it also shows that referees need help with the big decisions.
These types of incidents are happening far too often in matches, and it just seems to be pot luck over whether or not the correct calls are made.
It might not be as simple to bring in as goalline technology was, but it is time for some form of help to be given to officials, as they are getting too many of these calls wrong.
Jan Kirchhoff Is Vital To Sunderland’s Survival Effort
When he first wandered onto a Premier League pitch in Sunderland’s 4-1 defeat to Tottenham in January, Jan Kirchhoff did a passable impression of a footballing Frank Spencer – the former Bayern Munich man careering around the pitch and proving a danger to himself and others.
Ever since then, though, he’s been fantastic, and the German’s experience will be crucial to Sunderland’s hopes of staying up, as he goes about playing the calming role in midfield alongside the more tenacious Yann M’Vila.
Getting control of midfield will be vital in the Mackems’ final few games, and in Kirchhoff they have a man who can do just that.
Obligary N’Golo Kante Point
I’m convinced there’s about three of him.
Read more from Mark Jones