The remarkable stats behind Leicester City's debut Champions League campaign....
By Richard Morgan and SSN HQ
Last Updated: 19/10/16 11:12am
Leicester City have struggled in the Premier League so far this season, but they maintained their perfect Champions League record by beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Tuesday and are now just one win away from reaching the knockout phase of Europe's premier club competition.
Leicester's third straight Champions League victory, including a third clean sheet in a row, guarantees Claudio Ranieri's side at least a spot in February's Europa League round of 32 - but they will be setting their sights much higher.
The Foxes currently top Group G with nine points, five more than both FC Copenhagen - to whom they travel on matchday four - and FC Porto.
Ranieri's side have become only the fifth Champions League debutants to win their first three games and just the third debut side - after Parma and Malaga - to keep three clean sheets in their opening three matches in the competition.
In total, 64 clubs have previously won their first three group fixtures - and Ranieri will be pleased to know that all have progressed to the round of 16.
If Ranieri needs further inspiration, plenty of newcomers to the competition have gone even further; Tottenham, Lazio and Bayer Leverkusen have all reached the quarter-finals, while Villarreal powered to the semis in 2005/6.
Riyad Mahrez was Leicester's match winner at the King Power on Tuesday evening, meaning the Algeria international has been directly involved in four of the Champions League debutants' five goals in the competition this campaign.
Mahrez has even scored one more goal than Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo - the competition's all-time record goalscorer - has this season.
Goal involvement: Champions League 2016/17 (selected players)
|Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)||3||1|
|Lionel Messi (Barcelona)||3||1|
|Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli)||3||1|
|Sergio Aguero (Man City)||3||1|
|Luis Suarez (Barcelona)||2||2|
|Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)||2||2|
The Foxes incredibly have more points in Europe than the Premier League this season, despite playing five fewer games, so what's behind the difference in Leicester's fortunes domestically and abroad?
In the Champions League, Ranieri's men have been more clinical in front of goal, scoring five times in three contests, compared to an average of one goal a game in the league. And that's despite actually having two fewer shots on average per game.
Their shooting accuracy is 13 per cent better in the Champions League than in the Premier League, while their conversion rate is also 50 per cent higher in Europe's elite club competition.
At the back, Wes Morgan and Co are allowing fewer shots on their goal in Europe than in the Premier League, averaging 11 per game in the former.
That is despite a drop-off in their tackle success rate, although their duel success is up marginally.
Like in the Premier League, Ranieri's counter-attacking specialists don't particularly prize possession; they're averaging only 40 per cent in the Champions League.