Leicester handed the Seagulls their third successive 2-0 defeat on Saturday as it was an afternoon of untaken chances for Chris Hughton’s men. Late second half goals from Vicente Iborra and Jamie Vardy punished a Glenn Murray penalty miss as the Foxes took all three points back to the Midlands.
It was a stagnant and scrappy start to the game on the South Coast as both teams showed signs of fatigue after the International meetings. Yet, it was Brighton who looked the most threatening in the opening phases and it was their record signing, Jurgen Locadia, who caused most of the problems for Puel’s men down the right flank. It was the 24-year-olds first start for the Seagulls since his £15million move from PSV in the Netherlands and he certainly impressed causing Chilwell some nervy moments in the match.
However, the best chance of the opening 45 came when Pascal Gross slotted through an inch perfect ball to Glenn Murray, only for the Englishman to slot the ball past Schmeichel’s left hand post with his head in his hands.
Arguably, most of the action during the 90 minutes came through the referee, Chris Kavanagh, as he handed out eight booked as well as giving Leicester centre mid, Wilfred Ndidi, his marching orders just before the match end. It was the Nigerian who gave Brighton the opportunity to break the deadlock as he feebly bundled down Brighton’s Izquierdo in the box. Though, it was not to be for Brighton on a wet Saturday afternoon as Schmeichel easily palmed away a tame Glenn Murray penalty as he dived to his left-hand side. It is fair to say, the Seagulls were made to pay for this with Hughton saying the end result was ‘hard to take’.
It was Iborra who penalized Brighton’s lack of composure in front of goal as he skilfully made himself available and onside and found himself on the end of a deep Ben Chilwell cross to place his header past Matt Ryan and give Leicester the advantage going into the closing minutes.
Nevertheless, there was still hope for Brighton as Wilfred Ndidi was given his second booking for a professional foul on Duffy, a questionable yellow to say the least but the 21-year-old, much to his frustration, had to go. Expectantly, Brighton piled on the pressure as Schmeichel saved cleverly from a free kick to keep the hosts at bay. Yet, surely Hughton’s men would get one more chance? And that they did. A fizzing corner eluded almost everyone in the Leicester box and fell agonizingly short of the head of Gaetan Bong, who only needed the slightest of nods to give his side a point.
But it was Leicester who had the last laugh as they broke and found Gray, who with virtually the last kick of the game put it on a plate for Jamie Vardy who simply couldn’t miss. It was the Englishman’s eighth goal in 10 starts in all competitions with both club and country as he gave Leicester their first win at Brighton since 2006.
MOTM: Kasper Schmeichel. It was a great day for the Dane. His penalty save means he has now saved as many penalties as his father (3) in the Premier League. Some brilliant saves ultimately won Leicester the game.
Brighton: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Bunk, Bong, Propper, Locadia (March, 75) Gross, Kayal (Baldock, 84) Izquierdo, Murray. Unused Subs: Hemed, Suttner, Bruno, Goldson, Krul
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez (Fuchs, 85) Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton (Gray, 79), Okazaki (Diabate, 56) Vardy. Unused Subs: Jakupovic, Dragovic, Silva, Iheanacho.
Written by Eamon Kitching.