Foxy duo lead the way for Leicester
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.”–
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.