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Party time for EPL champs Leicester

Associated Press Associated Press 7/05/2016 By Rob Harris

Claudio Ranieri was preparing to reflect on the emotions of the English Premier League trophy presentation ceremony away from the boisterous partying on the field.

The first championship-winning players in Leicester's 132-year history had other ideas on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel gatecrashed the news conference with the trophy, accompanied by champagne-carrying defender Christian Fuchs.

Soon Ranieri was being sprayed with the bubbly along with the front row of journalists - and laptops. Fuchs then emptied the bottle on Ranieri while embracing his manager.

There's a lot you can get away with when you have just delivered a 64-year-old manager his first top flight title and helped to transform 5000-1 long-shots into one of the most improbable champions in sports history.

As he dried out, Ranieri was asked if the hijinks demonstrated the strong team spirit.

"Yes," Ranieri quipped. "Without respect!"

He was full of respect for the team's performance before receiving the trophy.

The title was secured without playing on Monday after second-place Tottenham was held to a draw by Chelsea, but the Foxes were full of their usual vigour against Everton on Saturday, sweeping to a 3-1 victory.

It was fitting the goals were provided by Jamie Vardy and Andy King.

Vardy's striking endeavours have powered Leicester to the title, and the striker took his season tally to 24 against Everton.

The former non-league player took just five minutes into his return from a two-game suspension to turn in King's cross.

King, the only member of the team who was in the third tier with Leicester in 2009, then slotted into the net in the 33rd minute after Professional Footballers' Association player of the year Riyad Mahrez weaved his way through the hapless Everton defence.

Vardy won and converted a penalty in the 65th but he missed out on a hat-trick when he blazed another spot kick over the crossbar.

Not even Kevin Mirallas' late consolation for Everton could dampen Leicester's spirits before captain Wes Morgan collected the trophy.

"I asked the players, 'Show me now you are the champions, the stadium is full, all the world is behind you to watch how you play,"' Ranieri said.

"Our strength was concentration."

Elsewhere, Jermain Defoe clinched a 3-2 victory for Sunderland at Chelsea that lifted the north-east club out of the relegation zone with two games remaining.

Newcastle, who were held by already-relegated Aston Villa to 0-0, sit a point behind Sunderland while second-last Norwich lost 1-0 to Manchester United.

Juan Mata's goal for United took Louis van Gaal's side within one point of Manchester City in the fourth and final Champions League place.

Swansea belted West Ham 4-1 while Bournemouth drew with West Brom 1-1, and FA Cup finalist Crystal Palace beat Stoke 2-1.

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