CNN  — 

Sevilla are supremely difficult to beat at home – having lost only once previously in La Liga this campaign at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium – and so it was the perfect start in a pivotal week on the road for Barcelona.

It was one of the biggest sporting upsets ever.

But this season has been far from a fairy-tale.

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Around four months ago, the club’s beloved owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died in a helicopter crash near Leicester’s stadium and on Sunday the team fired manager Claude Puel following a 4-1 loss at home to relegation threatened Crystal Palace.

01:53 - Source: CNN
Leicester City confirms owner's death in crash

“The Club would like to thank Claude for his efforts in leading the team during his 16 months in the role and wish him well in his future career,” Leicester said in a statement on its website.

No permanent successor was named.

Slipping down table

Although in no real danger of being relegated itself – eight points above the drop zone – Leicester has lost seven of its last nine matches in all competitions and sunk to 12th in the Premier League.

The slump included a 2-1 defeat to fourth-tier Newport County in the FA Cup.

Puel’s conservative style of play drew criticism from a section of Leicester fans and the Frenchman also reportedly clashed with star striker Jamie Vardy, one of those who played a key role in the title campaign.

00:43 - Source: CNN
Watch Leicester players celebrate Premier League win

The last straw, realistically, came against Palace, which closed to within two points of Leicester. The Londoners scored three times in the final 20 minutes to snap a 1-1 tie.

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The sacking of Puel – who was dismissed by Southampton in 2017 despite leading Saints to the League Cup final – comes almost exactly two years to the day Leicester fired Claudio Ranieri.

Ranieri guided Leicester to the title in 2016 and is now in charge of Fulham, adrift in 19th in the top division.