Leicester’s players upturned the established order in England last season. Now, they’re doing the same in Europe.
The fairy tale goes on for the once-unheralded central English club after beating double European champion Porto 1-0 on Tuesday for a second straight win in its first-ever Champions League campaign.
No other team has six points at this stage in the Champions League — not even defending champion Real Madrid, which scored early through Cristiano Ronaldo before conceding late to draw 2-2 at Borussia Dortmund.
Leicester was bottom of the Premier League this time two years ago, so not even its most ardent fan could have predicted this rise. No wonder the King Power stadium was rocking when Islam Slimani headed home from close range in the 25th minute for what proved to be the winning goal.
It came as no surprise that Slimani was Porto’s tormentor.
The Algeria striker had scored five goals in three games for former side Sporting against Porto already in 2016, earning him a nickname of the “Dragon Slayer” in reference to Porto’s moniker — the Dragons.
Leicester used the same tactics against Porto as it did in the team’s improbable charge to the Premier League title: Defend stoutly and in numbers, and hit opponents on the counter-attack.
The approach worked perfectly, although Porto almost snatched an equalizer when Jesus Corona struck a volley against the post late on.
In the other match in Group G, FC Copenhagen beat Club Brugge 4-0 at home to follow up its opening-round draw against Porto.
Here’s a look at what else happened when the Champions League resumed Tuesday:
It was a good night all round for English clubs, with Tottenham getting off the mark in its first Champions League campaign in six years by winning 1-0 at CSKA Moscow.
Son Heung-min scored the winner in the 71st minute, the South Korea forward’s fifth goal in five games in all competitions this season.
It was the first visit by an English club to Russia since violent clashes between fans from the two countries at the European Championship in June. The game appeared to pass off with no sign of disorder in or around the stadium.
Monaco stayed unbeaten after Kamil Glik scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen, which went ahead through Javier Hernandez.
Monaco leads on four points, one above Tottenham and two above Leverkusen.
Ronaldo sulked on Saturday after being substituted by coach Zinedine Zidane during a Spanish league match. The sulk briefly turned into a smile three days later as the Portugal star finished off a flowing team move to put Real ahead against Dortmund. It was his 98th goal in UEFA competition, and 95th in the Champions League.
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equalizer, Ronaldo sent in the free kick that was eventually turned into the net by Raphael Varane, putting Real in sight of a first win in six matches at Dortmund.
But Andre Schuerrle struck in the 87th minute to earn Dortmund a point and leave both teams on four points.
With Real having drawn its last two games in La Liga, the team is on its longest winless streak under Zidane.
Sporting Lisbon rebounded from conceding two late goals to lose to Real on Matchday 1 by beating Legia Warsaw 2-0, with Bryan Ruiz and Bas Dost scoring the goals.
Juventus’ big summer signings proved their worth as Miralem Pjanic and Gonzalo Higuain scored in a 4-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.
Paulo Dybala and Dani Alves, another offseason recruit, also scored as the Italian champions built on an opening-round 0-0 draw against Sevilla.
Sevilla joined Juve on four points by beating Lyon 1-0 thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder’s 53rd-minute goal.