After their stunning title victory last campaign which shocked the football world, Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City are seemingly determined to keep going despite their indifferent league form as they grace Europe’s premier club competition for the very first time. It was a dream start on Matchday I as they ran out 3-0 winners in Belgium over Club Brugge, but Ranieri and his men knew a much tougher examination was in store on Matchday II on Tuesday as the Foxes geared up for a clash with Portuguese outfit FC Porto at the King Power, who boasted stars such as Iker Casillas in their ranks and seem the most likely side on paper to challenge Leicester for top spot in Group F.
It was a raucous atmosphere at the King Power Stadium in what was Leicester’s first ever home game in the competition, and it was the home side who continued to set the pace in the group with a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Portuguese, who only managed a 1-1 home draw in Matchday I at home to FC Copenhagen. Former Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani, Leicester’s Deadline Day record signing, whose prolific record against Porto during his time in the Liga Nos earned him the nickname “the Dragon Slayer”, returned to haunt them again. His stooping header came from a Riyad Mahrez cross on 25 minutes, and at this point Porto must be sick of the sight of the Algerian, the forward having netted five times in his last three against the Dragoes. It was Slimani’s third goal in four games for his new club, and he is already looking like a big hit with Foxes fans.
Porto’s best chance of the game came when substitute Jesus Corona struck the woodwork, but the Foxes were able to cling on to a memorable and historic victory, and they now lead Group F by two points, going into a double header with second placed side FC Copenhagen who have four points after following their opening night draw in Porto with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Club Brugge at Parken Stadium in Denmark.
So as Leicester set the pace firmly in Group F with this most memorable of victories, what did we learn from this historic night for the Premier League champions?