Leicester City start Champions League campaign with a win

Marc Albrigton

Leicester City made an impressive debut to their Champions League campaign with Riyad Mahrez scoring twice as they thumped Belgian side Club Brugge 3-0 in a devastating fashion.

Marc Albrigton
Marc Albrighton celebrates scoring Leicester City first ever Champions League goal

Marc Albrighton, one of their star man in the Premier League winning campaign last season, scored their first ever Champions League goal and first since 2000 inside five minutes, moments after the hosts nearly got in front.

Riyad Mahrez continued to shine for Leicester as he crashed in a brilliant free-kick before adding another from the spot shortly before the hour mark making it 3-0 as the away side dominated at the Jan Breydel Stadium, top of Group G after Porto and Copenhagen drew 1-1.

Record signing Islam Slimani was handed his Leicester debut for the Champions League opener, providing experience also impressed, but was booked for a needless push on Bjorn Engels which saw the defender substituted with a serious looking shoulder injury.

The Foxes were nearly one down inside three minutes, when Jose Izquierdo broke past Wes Morgan and was through on goal. The Colombian forward lacked composure, shooting past Kasper Schmeichel but also past the post.

Leicester first goal in Europe came two minutes later when goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle came out to collect a long throw and a lack of communication meant he could not gather the ball. Hans Vanaken instead flicked the ball across goal to the far post, where Albrighton was quickest to react, guiding the ball home from five yards.

Veteran Brugge defender Timmy Simmons, 39, was booked after bringing Vardy down on the edge of the box – the England international was through on goal otherwise and he was fortunate not to see red.

Mahrez took the resulting set piece from around 20 yards, brilliant curling the ball across goal and into the top corner to give the visitors a comfortable leave shortly before the half hour.

Drinkwater twice tested Butelle, the second a dipping 30-yard volley when Mahrez’s corner was cleared and, as the ball dropped down to him, the England international caught the ball perfectly and his dipping volley was tipped over the bar  by Butelle.

More defensive calamity from Brugge gifted Leicester a third when Mahrez completed his double with a penalty after 61 minutes.

Vardy hassled Stefano Denswil into losing the ball and the England striker raced through only to be taken out by Butelle and Mahrez gleefully converted from the spot – despite missing three of his previous four penalties.

Diaby clipped the post as home side tried to find a way back but Leicester even had the luxury of giving Vardy, Mahrez and Slimani a rest as Ahmed Musa, Leonardo Ulloa and Demarai Gray replaced them.

And Gray almost put the gloss on a brilliant team performance when he fired over after a darting run with six minutes left.

The win see Premier League Champions Leicester go top of their group as FC Porto were held to a 1-1 draw by ten-man Copenhagen in Portugal

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