Tuesday had to seem like a holiday at King Power Stadium. After perhaps one of the most unlikely championships in the history of sports last year, one of the spoils of victory was an automatic berth in the UEFA Champions League’s Group Stage. On Tuesday, Leicester City fans packed King Power Stadium and loved every minute of the team’s first ever Champions League home match. Leicester beat Porto 1-0 to win their second straight Champions League match. A header from Andy King found the net in the first half and in the second half, despite a furious rally from Porto trying to equalize, Leicester was up to the challenge.
Leicester City’s Premier League title defense has not gone well. They are finding that defending the title is very difficult with the target on your backs. They lost three matches in the Premier League in 38 matches last season and this year they have lost three in the first seven. Last week they were drubbed 4-1 at Old Trafford by Manchester United. So the Champions League may be Leicester City’s biggest chase this year. Can they get to the Knockout State? And how will they do once they do get there?
Leicester City is in 12th place in the Premier League with seven points after six matches. They already trail Manchester City by 11 points in the standings. But in the Champions League, they lead Group G with six points, two points ahead of second place Copenhagen with four points after their win over Club Brugge. But Leicester is five points ahead of third place Porto after the win, and that is the important spot. The top two from each Group advance to the Knockout Stage.
Leicester has plenty of time to make a move in the EPL. There are still 32 matches to play. But what a story Leicester City has become over the last two years, this time with a great Champions League run. Leicester has an excellent chance to win the group, which will mean they get a second place finisher in the Round of 16. If you thought King Power Stadium was rocking today, wait until they host a Knockout Stag match. That will be a moment not to miss.