Foxy duo lead the way for Leicester

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

CLAU­DIO Ranieri be­lieves Al­ge­rian duo Is­lam Sli­mani and Riyad Mahrez can form a deadly dou­ble act for Leicester af­ter the Al­ge­rian duo in­spired a 3-0 win over Burnley.

Sli­mani scored twice on his Premier League de­but for the cham­pi­ons on Septem­ber 17, while fel­low Al­ge­ria in­ter­na­tional Mahrez dis­played the form that saw him voted player of the year last sea­son.

The pair linked up im­pres­sively with Leicester striker Jamie Vardy and Foxes man­ager Ranieri be­lieves they will rel­ish join­ing forces at club level.

“It’s good for Sli­mani and good for every­one,” Ranieri said. “It was a very good per­for­mance from him, as well as his team-mates.

“He linked very well with Vardy and the others and he pressed so hard dur­ing all the match. We bought him for th­ese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

“Riyad made two fan­tas­tic per­for­mances, in Brugge in the Cham­pi­ons League and here, and I’m very pleased when he plays in this tac­ti­cal way be­cause he was very clever. He’s very clever when to at­tack, de­fend, and play in be­tween the lines.

“Of course he’s happy with Sli­mani be­ing here – but he’s happy with ev­ery­body.”

Ranieri’s men fol­lowed their 3-0 Cham­pi­ons League win at Club Brugge in mid­week with the same score­line against Burnley.

Goal­keeper Kasper Sch­me­ichel missed out with con­cus­sion and Danny Simp­son re­turned from in­jury but Ranieri oth­er­wise named an un­changed team.

The Ital­ian is plan­ning changes for to­mor­row’s English Foot­ball League Cup clash with Chelsea but he be­lieves con­sis­tency was im­por­tant from Brugge to Burnley.

Leicester climbed to ninth place af­ter Sli­mani’s in­spir­ing play led to team to vic­tory at King Power Sta­dium.

The Al­ge­ria striker was mak­ing his league de­but af­ter his 28 mil­lion pounds (US$36.4 mil­lion) trans­fer from Sport­ing Lis­bon.

He scored a pair of head­ers either side of half-time, nod­ding in a Chris­tian Fuchs free-kick in firsthalf in­jury time and then head­ing home from strike part­ner Jamie Vardy’s flick.

Ben Mee’s own goal from Riyad Mahrez’s cross com­pleted the scor­ing in the 78th minute.

“It’s im­por­tant Sli­mani con­tin­ues to score be­cause if he only scores in the first match, we have a prob­lem,” said Leicester man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri.

Burnley ac­quit­ted them­selves well for much of the first half but were put to the sword af­ter Sli­mani scored his first goal in English foot­ball in first-half stop­page time.

“Un­for­tu­nately it was four min­utes of mad­ness two min­utes be­fore and two min­utes af­ter half-time,” Burnley man­ager Sean Dy­che said.

“The idea was to keep the ball bet­ter and kind of slow Leicester’s tempo down.

“We didn’t pen­e­trate as much as I would like but it’s dif­fi­cult at this level be­cause they are a good side.

“Then two min­utes of mad­ness just be­fore half-time cul­mi­nated in giv­ing a soft free-kick away and they got a goal.

“The sec­ond half one was a lit­tle bit un­for­tu­nate that it hit some­one on the knee, some­one on the heel and some­one on the head and it goes in.

“Af­ter that they are a good side and they proved that.

“When you go 2-0 up and you’re play­ing the Premier League cham­pi­ons it’s not im­pos­si­ble but it’s im­prob­a­ble that you come back from that.”–

Photo: AFP

Leicester City’s Al­ge­rian striker Is­lam Sli­mani (sec­ond right) jumps to head the ball to score dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween Leicester City and Burnley at King Power Sta­dium in Leicester, Eng­land on Septem­ber 17.

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