Claudio Ranieri’s decision to prioritize the Champions League ahead of the Premier League appears to be paying off, as they won their third straight game in Europe’s elite competition with a 1-0 defeat of Copenhagen to remain top of Group G with maximum points.
Riyad Mahrez was the hero for the Foxes with his third goal of the campaign to earn Leicester a slim victory over the hard-fighting Danish side at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.
The Premier League champions got a scare almost immediately the game started, just two minutes in and there was a half chance for Copenhagen as Federico Santander’s effort was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
The visitors, who came into the game with a lot of confidence continued in their approach as they tried to rattle Leicester, with constant attacks as they earned corner kicks in quick succession, but nothing came from them.
Leicester were not without attacks of their own in this half, but nothing yielded until the 40th minute, when Islam Slimani’s header found Mahrez, who fired home to give the Fixes the lead.
Ranieri’s men almost doubled the lead just before the break, but the Copenhagen goalkeeper was alert to thwart the danger to keep the score at 1-0 going into the break.
Copenhagen wanted to show their host they were not in England for the fun of it, as they started the second half with some renewed verve, as they pushed forward.
It was Leicester, however, who went close again, Mahrez’s shot just outside the box was blocked by a Copenhagen defender just when it looked like it might be on target.
The Foxes continued to grow into the game and they had the ball in the back of the net, Slimani scoring, but the goal was disallowed, much to the chagrin of the Algerian and his teammates but the referee had made his decision.
The Danish side kept pushing still, hoping for that equalizer and just before the end of the game, they forced a save from Schmeichel, with the impressive Santander asking questions of the Leicester defence but those questions kept returning back as the English side ended with the win, making it a perfect start to their first ever Champions League campaign.
They now sit atop Group G with nine points from a possible nine.