LEICESTER, England — Islam Slimani kept up his hot streak against Porto by scoring Leicester’s first-half goal in a 1-0 victory in the Champions League on Tuesday, maintaining the English champions’ 100 percent start to Group G.
The Algeria striker headed home from close range off a pinpoint cross by international teammate Riyad Mahrez in the 25th minute. It was Slimani’s sixth goal in four games against Porto in 2016, with the other five coming for Sporting Lisbon in Portuguese soccer before his offseason move to Leicester.
Leicester opened group play with a 3-0 win at Club Brugge and is in good shape to advance to the knockout stage in its first-ever season in the Champions League.
“I am superstitious,” said Ranieri, refusing to look too far ahead. “We have to stay calm.”
Porto couldn’t translate second-half dominance to goals at King Power stadium, with Jesus Corona smashing a volley against the post in the 83rd minute. The two-time European champions have one point from two games, and their winless run in games away to English opponents stretched to 17 games.
Slimani picked up the nickname the “Dragon Slayer” at Sporting because of his penchant for scoring against Porto, which is sometimes referred to as the Dragons. On his final appearance for Sporting before joining Leicester for a club-record fee $33.5 million in August, he scored in a 2-1 win over Porto.
He was at it again here — and he could hardly miss from Mahrez’s inswinging cross from the right. The move started with Marc Albrighton switching play with a brilliant long pass to Mahrez, and ended with Slimani outmuscling his marker to head in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Slimani has now scored three goals in four games for Leicester.
“I was very confident with Slimani, because he often scored against Porto when he was a Sporting player,” Ranieri said.
“I spoke with Riyad and Islam and said, ‘Come on guys, let’s make something special tonight.’ They made the pass and goal.”