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Claudio Ranieri fired by Leicester City

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Less than one season after their incredible Premier League triumph, the Foxes are changing managers.

Sevilla FC v Leicester City - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Just one day after a 2-1 loss away to Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League, Leicester City has decided to part ways with manager Claudio Ranieri.

Last season, Leicester made headlines all around the world by winning the Premier League title. They were 5,000-to-1 underdogs at the start of the season — favorites to get relegated — but became the first team other than Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, or Arsenal to lift the title in over 20 years.

That triumph got Leicester into the Champions League, where they impressively won their group to make the knockout stage. But domestically, things have gone less smoothly for the Foxes. They’ve lost their last five Premier League games in a row and sit in 17th place, just one point ahead of the relegation zone. They’ve failed to score in their last six league matches.

While Leicester was impressively able to keep hold of stars Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez in the transfer market, they lost arguably their best player, midfielder N’Golo Kante. The Foxes have struggled to replace Kante, while he’s garnered accolades for his performances at Chelsea, who sit eight points clear of the field at the top of the table.

Vardy and Mahrez haven’t been nearly as prolific in attack this season, scoring five and three league goals, respectively. The solid defensive partnership of Robert Huth and Wes Morgan has fallen apart as well, allowing 43 goals in 25 games without Kante to shield them.

Leicester’s management clearly didn’t want to be hasty with their decision on Ranieri out of respect for what he did last season. They’ve spent the last couple of weeks denying rumors that his departure was imminent, but they’ve been genuinely awful over the last couple of months and felt they no longer had a choice.

Plenty of fans — both loyal to the Foxes and neutral — won’t see it that way. It’s a bit surprising, and perhaps disrespectful, to not let Ranieri finish out the season given what he accomplished last season. But the Premier League is cutthroat, and owners are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid relegation, even if it damages their reputation.

Leicester City has not announced a replacement.