Foxes get his­toric win

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LE­ICES­TER City striker Is­lam Sli­mani re­sumed his tor­ment of Porto as the Premier League cham­pi­ons pre­served their 100 per­cent Cham­pi­ons League record with a nar­row 1-0 vic­tory on Septem­ber 27.

Play­ing in their first-ever Cham­pi­ons League home game, Clau­dio Ranieri’s Le­ices­ter pre­vailed thanks to Sli­mani’s 25th-minute header to make it two wins in two games in Group G.

Sli­mani earned the nick­name “The Dragon Slayer” for his scor­ing feats against Porto with for­mer club Sport­ing Lis­bon and he has now scored seven goals in seven ca­reer ap­pear­ances against the Dragons.

“I was very con­fi­dent with Sli­mani be­cause Sli­mani of­ten scored against Porto when he was a Sport­ing player,” said Ranieri.

“I spoke with Riyad [Mahrez] and Is­lam and said, ‘Come on guys, make some­thing good tonight.’ And they made a pass, as­sist, goal. It was good.”

Eight years to the day pre­vi­ously at the King Power Sta­dium, Le­ices­ter had beaten Hartle­pool United 1-0 in an un­re­mark­able English third-tier game.

Eight years on, they are the cham­pi­ons of Eng­land and hav­ing won 3-0 at Club Brugge in their open­ing group fix­ture, their fans will al­ready be dream­ing of a place in the last 16.

Two points clear in Group G, the Euro­pean cam­paign is prov­ing a wel­come tonic for Le­ices­ter, whose fal­ter­ing league ti­tle de­fence has seen them beaten three times al­ready.

Two-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Porto, mean­while, have now played 17 games on English soil with­out win­ning, los­ing and fail­ing to score on their last five vis­its.

“I just wish the play­ers had played from the first minute as in the last 15 min­utes, be­cause we played well in the last 15 min­utes,” said Porto coach Nuno Espir­ito Santo.

“It is not easy to come to the Premier League cham­pi­ons and start from the first minute like we fin­ished, but that is the chal­lenge and I’m quite op­ti­mistic for the fu­ture.”

Porto right-back Miguel Layun made an en­ter­pris­ing start to the game, work­ing fit-again Le­ices­ter goal­keeper Kasper Sch­me­ichel with a curl­ing shot and then whip­ping a low cross across goal.

But Layun’s de­fen­sive col­leagues were quickly made to look un­com­fort­able by Le­ices­ter’s mus­cu­lar strike pair­ing of Sli­mani and Jamie Vardy.

Brazil­ian cen­tre-back Felipe was par­tic­u­larly dis­com­fited, al­most head­ing Christian Fuchs’s long throw into his own net and then be­ing booked for block­ing Vardy’s run.

The crowd sensed blood and in the 25th minute the break­through ar­rived cour­tesy of US$36.3 mil­lion record sign­ing Sli­mani.

Marc Al­brighton switched play with a glo­ri­ous cross­field pass, Riyad Mahrez shaped an invit­ing cross to the back post and Sli­mani out­mus­cled Felipe to plant a div­ing header past Iker Casil­las.

It was the Al­ge­ria in­ter­na­tional’s third goal in four ap­pear­ances for Le­ices­ter and the sixth goal he had scored past Casil­las in 2016 alone.

Photo: AFP

Le­ices­ter City’s Al­ge­rian striker Is­lam Sli­mani (cen­tre) scored the win­ning goal as he en­joyed an­other suc­cess­ful out­ing against Porto at the King Power Sta­dium in Le­ices­ter on Septem­ber 27.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.