No one said that football management was going to be kind. Brendan Rodgers has left Leicester with far more happy memories than bad ones, but he was still shown the door at the King Power Stadium.
The 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace was the precursor for the Foxes board to part ways with Rodgers meaning the post-mortem on what went wrong can now begin.
Leicester have one of the most storied recent histories of all Premier League clubs, and it seems the board did not want to risk that story ending in relegation this season.
Rodgers has ultimately been sacrificed to try to ensure that doesn’t happen, and only time will tell whether that particular gambit was a wise one.
For now, though, here are some of the worst moments that led to Rodgers leaving Leicester.
The majority of Rodgers’ time at Leicester was positive. They finished fifth twice under the Northern Irishman, won the FA Cup, and then eighth last season.
It was only really this season when things went wrong, although the FA Cup hammering to midlands rivals Nottingham Forest in last season’s FA Cup was probably the moment it started to get away from him.
Leicester were hammered 4-1 by the then Championship club in front of the television cameras and it left Rodgers openly calling for a summer clear-out.
“There are a lot of these players, between now and the end of the season, who need to prove that they are still worthy of being here, because we’ve seen it now for a little while,” he said after the game.
“Forget about the players who are missing. There are players here that may have achieved everything that they can here. It’s not what I want to do.
“It’s something we’ll have to look at between now and the end of the season. Until then, they’ve got to have a look at themselves in the mirror and fight like hell to prove they’re good enough to be here.
“There are a number of key elements of the performance today that didn’t surprise me, if I am honest,” he said post-match.
“There are areas that we will address in the summer, that will hopefully help us to be more competitive, more consistent, and to be up there from the beginning of the season. And we as a club will work very hard to make that happen.”
It is unusual to hear a manger go after his players publicly in such a manner, and Rodgers is one of the last people you would expect it from.
That offered a real insight into what was clearly a very worrying situation that was emerging at the club.
Despite Rodgers’ outpouring of fury after the Nottingham Forest embarrassment, Leicester actually finished the season quite strongly. So strongly, in fact, that perhaps it served to paper over ever-widening cracks.
The start of this season was a veritable horror-show for Leicester. It took them eight Premier League games before they were able to call themselves winners, and the seven that preceded it were frankly awful for Foxes fans to watch.
Defensive problems plagued them, with Arsenal putting four past them, Brighton five and Tottenham six.
In total, Brendan Rodgers’ team shipped 22 goals in that spell, which was the most any Premier League team had ever conceded after the first seven games and the most any English top-flight club had since 1965.
They even needed a penalty shootout to beat League Two Stockport in the EFL Cup.
Rodgers did manage to turn it around after that, just as he had following the 4-1 defeat to Forest, but the problems were clear.
Perhaps Leicester wouldn’t have been quite so easy to score against had Premier League winner Kasper Schmeichel not been allowed to leave to join Nice.
Schmeichel had established himself as one of the top stoppers in the Premier League, and most were utterly mystified when he joined the Ligue 1 side, including him.
“Well, my contract was coming up and I wasn’t really getting any response [from Leicester],” Schmeichel told The Times. “I’d have loved to have stayed at Leicester but that wasn’t what was meant to happen. I love the club.”
Outwardly, Schmeichel and Rodgers were very complimentary of each other, and yet reports from very proven well-informed journalists described the relationship as ‘fractious.’
Whatever the reason for Schmeichel leaving, it was a grim moment for Rodgers. He was left with Danny Ward, who has been nowhere near the same level, he lost a real leader from his squad and the results have ultimately spoken for themselves.
If there was one result that ultimately summed up Leicester’s struggles this season under Brendan Rodgers, then it was this. It promised so much yet was blighted by inexplicable humiliating self-implosion.
When Kieran Dewsbury-Hall put the Foxes a goal up at Anfield, everything looked like it was going brilliantly. Rodgers’ team had won six of their last eight games in all competitions and Liverpool looked vulnerable.
On a personal level, Rodgers was back at a club who had sacked him and really showing them his worth as well. It was all going splendidly.
However, two Wout Faes own-goals in seven minutes before half-time knocked the stuffing clean out of them. They went from a bang in-form confident team about to put Liverpool to the sword to national laughing stock within minutes – and it was entirely their own doing.
Crystal Palace had no wins in 13 games and had only managed a handful of shots in the previous six weeks when Leicester arrived at Selhurst Park for a crucial relegation six-pointed.
Sure, the Eagles had Roy Hodgson back in the dugout for his first game since being reappointed, but any benefit to that was surely cancelled out by Palace star man Wilfried Zaha limping off half-way through the contest.
Palace were shot-shy to a crippling extent, they even they managed to pepper the Leicester goal with countless attempts throughout the 90 minutes.
Leicester took the lead through Ricardo Perreira early in the second half. One nil up, crucial game, opposition confidence on the floor and their best player off the pitch…plain sailing surely? Not for Leicester.
Again, an own goal, this time from goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, was their undoing before Jean-Philippe Mateta won it for Crystal Palace deep into injury time.