Leicester City could hardly have wished for a better start to their inaugural Champions League campaign.
The Premier League holders ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Club Brugge on Wednesday night.
Here we examine some talking points to come from their European bow that will be at the forefront of Claudio Ranieri’s thinking in the weeks ahead.
The group always looked promising for Leicester given some of the dangers that were lurking pre-draw.
No doubt aspects of Brugge performance on Wednesday night made things easy for Ranieri’s men but a 3-0 away win is the near perfect start.
The other game finishing as a draw is also a boost to their chances.
Porto are the toughest opponents on paper at least, so overcoming Copenhagen over the two ties should see the Foxes through.
There is though, opportunity for something more – something special.
Topping the group would mean a favourable draw for the knockout round and a chance to continue the Champions League adventure, bringing about another memorable season.
Slimani needs game time
The club record signing was given his debut on a night which was relatively straightforward for his team-mates and looking back, he will perhaps be annoyed to not having made more of it.
Slimani makes Leicester debut tonight https://t.co/MtZ3COZbUr
— Tom Kundert (@PortuGoal1) September 14, 2016
It was his first competitive action for a while and it showed. The big Algerian worked hard and tortured the Brugge defenders but his touch let him down and nothing seemed to go right for him.
It is clear the former Sporting Lisbon man needs games before he can begin to forge a partnership with Vardy.
Albrighton shining bright
If Slimani looked off the pace, the same could not be said of Marc Albrighton. The Englishman seemed to make the correct decision every time and was arguably the standout performer.
The winger netted a first-ever Leicester Champions League goal by reacting quickest when the home defence made a mess of a corner on six minutes.
He continued to impress over the course of the evening and showed his value with neat contributions at both ends.
Albrighton’s delivery with crosses and corners is also strong and if he can continue in this vein, will be a key man this season and even push himself into the England reckoning.
Ranieri keen to fight on all fronts
The Italian’s team selection showed how hungry he was to try and get a result.
? The Chaaaampions ?
According to Claudio Ranieri, the Champions League music inspired Riyad Mahrez. https://t.co/cDDJd6r1zZ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 16, 2016
European football and what comes with it in terms of travelling and fixture congestion will be new to most of the Leicester squad, but their manager is no stranger to it.
Repeating their league success would be a mammoth task for Leicester and it remains to be seen how they will cope with the games coming thick and fast. Ranieri at least seems intent on getting the best of both worlds.
Concentration the key
Despite the great result, the game did throw up some warning signs.
Leicester might find European sides attempt to entice them to come out and play, in much the same way that the Premier League winners did to opponents last term.
That could leave the likes of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth exposed to quick strikers.
An early chance wasted by Jose Izquierdo could have changed the game. Europe’s elite are likely to punish such openings meaning lapses at the back simply cannot happen.