2015–16 Premier League
1st Premier League title
1st English title
West Ham United
|Goals scored||1026 (2.7 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Harry Kane (25 goals)|
|Best goalkeeper||Petr Čech (16 clean sheets)|
|Biggest home win||
Manchester City 6–1 Newcastle United|
(3 October 2015)
|Biggest away win||
Aston Villa 0–6 Liverpool|
(14 February 2016)
Norwich City 4–5 Liverpool|
(23 January 2016)
|Longest winning run||
|Longest unbeaten run||
|Longest winless run||
|Longest losing run||
Manchester United 2–1 Swansea City
(2 January 2016)
AFC Bournemouth 1–3 Stoke City
(13 February 2016)
The 2015–16 Premier League was the 24th season of the Premier League, the top English professional league for association football clubs, since its establishment in 1992. The season began on 8 August 2015, and was scheduled to conclude on 15 May 2016. However, the Manchester United vs Bournemouth fixture was postponed to 17 May 2016 on the final day due to a suspicious package in the stadium.
In the previous season, Leicester City spent much of the season in the relegation zone before a late run of form propelled them to a final position of 14th; remarkably, a year later they won the league for the first time in their 132-year history, becoming the 24th club to become English football champions, and the sixth club to win the Premier League.
Leicester City were the surprise of the season. Following their late escape from relegation in the previous season many pundits had predicted that they would be relegated and bookmakers gave 5,000–1 odds on them winning the title. After the dismissal of manager Nigel Pearson, they began the new season with Italian Claudio Ranieri in charge. Pearson had been known for his short temper with the press, while Ranieri has a reputation for good humour. The appointment was met with scepticism by pundits, including Leicester fan and former player Gary Lineker, as Ranieri had recently been sacked from his previous post as manager of the Greek national team after suffering a humiliating defeat to the Faroe Islands in his last game in charge.
Despite winning their opening game against Sunderland and topping the table, they dropped back following a 5–2 defeat by Arsenal in September. However, aided by Jamie Vardy's record feat of scoring in eleven consecutive Premier League games, they then remained unbeaten – and returned to the top of the table – until 26 December, when a 1–0 defeat by Liverpool dropped them to second place. They returned to the top after a 1–1 draw with Aston Villa on 16 January and remained there for the rest of the season. Following a 2–2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur on 2 May 2016, Leicester City were confirmed champions, their first title in the top flight of English football, eclipsing the runners-up spot they reached in 1929.
Meanwhile, defending champions Chelsea had a torrid season, sacking manager José Mourinho in December while in 16th place and failing to qualify for European football for the first time in two decades. Eden Hazard, the previous season's PFA Players' Player of the Year, did not score a league goal until late April.
Arsenal were looking for their first title since 2004. Following a poor start their form improved and they took the top spot from Leicester in early January. However, a poor run of results, including draws with Liverpool, Stoke and Southampton, and a loss to Chelsea saw them drop to fourth by mid-February. They remained in contention, but draws with West Ham, Sunderland and Crystal Palace in April saw their title hopes vanish. Meanwhile, their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur won six matches in a row, and when Arsenal lost to Manchester United at the end of February, Tottenham leapfrogged them into second place, where they remained until the final weekend of the season. Draws with West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea stopped them winning their first title since 1961. The match in which Tottenham's title challenge ended, their 2–2 draw at Chelsea on 2 May, saw them receive nine yellow cards — a league record. After a 5–1 defeat to Newcastle United in their final match, Tottenham ended the season in third place, one point behind Arsenal.
Aston Villa, a presence in the Premier League since the league's foundation in 1992, were the first team relegated this season, after a 1–0 loss at Manchester United on 16 April. On 11 May, Sunderland won 3–0 against Everton, a result which relegated Newcastle United and Norwich City with one game remaining.
All of the final fixtures of the season were scheduled for 15 May, and to kick off at the same time. However, Manchester United's home game against Bournemouth was postponed for a future date after Old Trafford was evacuated because of the discovery of a suspicious device, which was destroyed in a controlled explosion. It was confirmed to be an accidental leftover from a training exercise.
The unlikely nature of Leicester's title led to a flood of coverage from across the globe. Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his congratulations, saying it was "An extraordinary, thoroughly deserved, Premier League title." Congratulations were also sent by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who praised his compatriot Ranieri.
Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore described it as "biggest story we've ever had" in English football. Former Leicester manager Martin O'Neill described it as the "greatest achievement of this century". Gary Lineker, the former Leicester striker who led a consortium that saved the club from administration in 2002, had said he would host the BBC football show Match of the Day in his underwear if Leicester won the title. After they won the title he said: "There were no odds that I would have taken at the start of the season. No odds. You could have given me 10 million to one and I’d have said ‘Nah, it’s a waste of a quid’". José Mourinho, manager of 2015 champions Chelsea and Ranieri's replacement at the same team eleven years earlier, sent his congratulations, saying: "I lost my title to Claudio Ranieri and it is with incredible emotion that I live this magic moment in his career." Ranieri said after winning his first title at the age of 64 that he wouldn't have appreciated it as a young man: "Now I am an old man I can feel it much better."
The long odds bookmakers had given Leicester at the start of the season led to them incurring losses of up to £25 million, with one punter winning over £100,000, having wagered £20 at the original 5,000–1 odds; the largest payout was £200,000 to an anonymous bettor who wagered £100 on the team in October when the odds were improved to 2,000–1.
Superstitious claims of phenomena helping Leicester win the league include the club's Thai owners employing Buddhist monks to bless the players, and the reburial of King Richard III in the city's cathedral in March 2015.
A total of 20 teams competed in the league, including 17 sides from the 2014–15 season and three promoted from the 2014–15 Football League Championship. On 25 April 2015, Watford became the first Championship side to be promoted following their 2–0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. On the final day of the season AFC Bournemouth won the Championship title and their first-ever promotion to the top flight, with a 3–0 victory over Charlton Athletic. Norwich City became the third and final team to be promoted after beating Middlesbrough 2–0 in the Championship play-off final, bouncing back from relegation from the Premier League following the 2013–14 season.
The three promoted clubs replaced Burnley, Queens Park Rangers and Hull City. Burnley were relegated despite a 1–0 victory at Hull City, and Queens Park Rangers suffered the same fate after a 6–0 defeat by Manchester City. Hull City became the third team to be relegated after a 0–0 draw with Manchester United on the final day of the 2014–15 season.
- Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.
|AFC Bournemouth||Dean Court||11,464|
|Aston Villa||Villa Park||42,660|
|Crystal Palace||Selhurst Park||25,073|
|Leicester City||King Power Stadium||32,312|
|Manchester City||Etihad Stadium||55,097|
|Manchester United||Old Trafford||75,653|
|Newcastle United||St James' Park||52,338|
|Norwich City||Carrow Road||27,010|
|Southampton||St Mary's Stadium||32,505|
|Stoke City||Britannia Stadium||27,740|
|Sunderland||Stadium of Light||48,707|
|Swansea City||Liberty Stadium||20,909|
|Tottenham Hotspur||White Hart Lane||36,284|
|West Bromwich Albion||The Hawthorns||26,850|
|West Ham United||Boleyn Ground||35,345|
Personnel and kits
- 1 According to current revision of List of English Football League managers.
- Additionally, referee kits are made by Nike, sponsored by EA Sports, and Nike has a new match ball, the Ordem Premier League.
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of
|Date of vacancy||Position in table||Incoming manager||Date of|
|West Ham United||Sam Allardyce||End of contract||24 May 2015||Pre-season||Slaven Bilić||9 June 2015|
|Watford||Slaviša Jokanović||5 June 2015||Quique Flores||5 June 2015|
|Newcastle United||John Carver||Sacked||9 June 2015||Steve McClaren||10 June 2015|
|Leicester City||Nigel Pearson||30 June 2015||Claudio Ranieri||13 July 2015|
|Sunderland||Dick Advocaat||Resigned||4 October 2015||19th||Sam Allardyce||9 October 2015|
|Liverpool||Brendan Rodgers||Sacked||4 October 2015||10th||Jürgen Klopp||8 October 2015|
|Aston Villa||Tim Sherwood||25 October 2015||19th||Rémi Garde||2 November 2015|
|Swansea City||Garry Monk||9 December 2015||15th||Alan Curtis||7 January 2016|
|Chelsea||José Mourinho||Mutual consent||17 December 2015||16th||Guus Hiddink||19 December 2015|
|Swansea City||Alan Curtis||End of caretaker spell||18 January 2016||18th||Francesco Guidolin||18 January 2016|
|Newcastle United||Steve McClaren||Sacked||11 March 2016||19th||Rafael Benítez||11 March 2016|
|Aston Villa||Rémi Garde||Mutual consent||29 March 2016||20th||Eric Black||29 March 2016|
|Everton||Roberto Martínez||Sacked||12 May 2016||12th||Ronald Koeman||14 June 2016|
|Manchester United||Louis van Gaal||Sacked||23 May 2016||Post-season (5th)||José Mourinho||27 May 2016|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Leicester City (C)||38||23||12||3||68||36||+32||81||Qualification for the Champions League group stage|
|4||Manchester City||38||19||9||10||71||41||+30||66||Qualification for the Champions League play-off round|
|5||Manchester United||38||19||9||10||49||35||+14||66||Qualification for the Europa League group stage|
|7||West Ham United||38||16||14||8||65||51||+14||62||Qualification for the Europa League third qualifying round|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||38||10||13||15||34||48||−14||43|
|18||Newcastle United (R)||38||9||10||19||44||65||−21||37||Relegation to the Football League Championship|
|19||Norwich City (R)||38||9||7||22||39||67||−28||34|
|20||Aston Villa (R)||38||3||8||27||27||76||−49||17|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Play-offs (only if needed to decide champion, teams for relegation or teams for UEFA competitions).
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
- Manchester City qualified for the Europa League third qualifying round by winning the 2015–16 Football League Cup. However, since they already qualified for European competition based on their league position, the spot awarded to the cup winners was passed down the league.
- Manchester United qualified for the Europa League group stage by winning the 2015–16 FA Cup.
|Home ╲ Away||ARS||AST||BOU||CHE||CRY||EVE||LEI||LIV||MCI||MUN||NEW||NOR||SOU||STK||SUN||SWA||TOT||WAT||WBA||WHU|
|West Bromwich Albion||2–1||0–0||1–2||2–3||3–2||2–3||2–3||1–1||0–3||1–0||1–0||0–1||0–0||2–1||1–0||1–1||1–1||0–1||0–3|
|West Ham United||3–3||2–0||3–4||2–1||2–2||1–1||1–2||2–0||2–2||3–2||2–0||2–2||2–1||0–0||1–0||1–4||1–0||3–1||1–1|
Updated to games played on 17 May 2016.
Source: Barclays Premier League football scores & results
1 ^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
For coming matches, an a indicates there is an article about the match.
|1||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||25|
|2||Sergio Agüero||Manchester City||24|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City|
|5||Riyad Mahrez||Leicester City||17|
|Wilson, CallumCallum Wilson||AFC Bournemouth||West Ham United||4–3||22 August 2015|
|Naismith, StevenSteven Naismith||Everton||Chelsea||3–1||12 September 2015|
|Sánchez, AlexisAlexis Sánchez||Arsenal||Leicester City||5–2||26 September 2015|
|Agüero, SergioSergio Agüero5||Manchester City||Newcastle United||6–1||3 October 2015|
|Sterling, RaheemRaheem Sterling||Manchester City||AFC Bournemouth||5–1||17 October 2015|
|Wijnaldum, GeorginioGeorginio Wijnaldum4||Newcastle United||Norwich City||6–2||18 October 2015|
|Kane, HarryHarry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||AFC Bournemouth||5–1||25 October 2015|
|Koné, ArounaArouna Koné||Everton||Sunderland||6–2||1 November 2015|
|Mahrez, RiyadRiyad Mahrez||Leicester City||Swansea City||3–0||5 December 2015|
|Defoe, JermainJermain Defoe||Sunderland||Swansea City||4–2||13 January 2016|
|Carroll, AndyAndy Carroll||West Ham United||Arsenal||3–3||9 April 2016|
|Agüero, SergioSergio Agüero||Manchester City||Chelsea||3–0||16 April 2016|
|Mané, SadioSadio Mané||Southampton||Manchester City||4–2||1 May 2016|
|Giroud, OlivierOlivier Giroud||Arsenal||Aston Villa||4–0||15 May 2016|
4 Player scored 4 goals
5 Player scored 5 goals
|2||David de Gea||Manchester United||15|
|Joe Hart||Manchester City|
|Kasper Schmeichel||Leicester City|
|5||Hugo Lloris||Tottenham Hotspur||13|
|8||Jack Butland||Stoke City||10|
|9||Adrián||West Ham United||9|
|Łukasz Fabiański||Swansea City|
- Most yellow cards: 11
- Jack Colback (Newcastle)
- Most red cards: 3
- Victor Wanyama (Southampton)
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month||Reference|
|August||Manuel Pellegrini||Manchester City||André Ayew||Swansea City|
|September||Mauricio Pochettino||Tottenham Hotspur||Anthony Martial||Manchester United|
|October||Arsène Wenger||Arsenal||Jamie Vardy||Leicester City|
|November||Claudio Ranieri||Leicester City||Jamie Vardy||Leicester City|
|December||Quique Sánchez Flores||Watford||Odion Ighalo||Watford|
|January||Ronald Koeman||Southampton||Sergio Agüero||Manchester City|
|February||Mauricio Pochettino||Tottenham Hotspur||Fraser Forster||Southampton|
|March||Claudio Ranieri||Leicester City||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur|
|April||Claudio Ranieri||Leicester City||Sergio Agüero||Manchester City|
Premier League Player of the Season
PFA Player of the Year
PFA Team of the Year
- Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)
- Defence: Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal), Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Midfield: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)
- Attack: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
PFA Young Player of the Year
FWA Footballer of the Year
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