BRIGHTON 1 LEICESTER CITY 2
Match Report by Paul Weston
City players arrived at the Amex stadium just a few days after their bruising encounter with Burnley which ended with a well-deserved draw. This time Rodgers had one additional player at his disposal- Fofana- who was brought back into a three man defence with Soyuncu and Amartey.
Evans, Maddison, Justin. Praet, Barnes, Perez and Morgan were still notable absentees which left our sub bench looking very youthful and not very threatening. Interestingly Rodgers chose to give Tavares his debut instead of the more defensive Choudhury.
City yet again started a match in a ponderous mode. Brighton players were winning the 50/50 tackles and pressing our defence which was struggling to pass to midfield and looked vulnerable. Vardy and Iheanacho were isolated. Soyuncu looked surprisingly uncertain and Amartey extremely cautious. It only took ten minutes before Brighton scored. They won the ball from an ill-directed Amartey throw-in and Lallana broke through the centre to beat Schmeichel comprehensively. City seemed rattled by this and soon after Lallana hit the post with a clever flicked header with Schmeichel beaten. Maupay had a goal disallowed for offside.
Ricardo and Castagne on each flank were finding it tough. Ricardo in particular is not yet back to his best after his injury and lost possession several times. Tavares showed some nice touches but too often lost out in 50/50 tackles. He did though have a cracking long range shot from a Vardy knock down which was well saved to his left by Brighton’s keeper Sanchez.
The half ended with Brighton in command both physically and tactically and clearly Rodgers had some thinking to do if we were to get a foothold back into the match.
City started the second half more aggressively against a determined and skilful Brighton. Iheanacho, who had tried manfully in the first half, shot into the side netting when well placed. City changed to a back four and immediately this changed the dynamic of the match as Castagne and Ricardo pushed forward more. However, there were so many times when one was crying out for Barnes and Maddison to be on the pitch to join up the play better.
Tielemans had looked tired and was well shackled by the Brighton players. However, in the twinkling of an eye, he then threaded through a superb pass to Iheanacho who had started his run. He coolly waited for Sanchez to commit himself before dinking it into the goal for a superb equaliser.
Albrighton then came on for Tavares as City sought to take the game to Brighton and were starting to dominate possession, although Lallana had another chance well saved by Schmeichel after Ndidi lost the ball.
A draw seemed on the cards and probably would have been a fair result when, from a bout of pressure, City won a corner. Our corners this season have been so poor that I had no hope whatsoever and in fact, usually this gives the opposition a great chance to counterattack. However, this time we scored from a corner in the 88th minute – Hallelujah! Albrighton fired in the ball and Sanchez flapped at it. Amartey showed great reactions to bend down and nod in a rare goal.
City saw out the last few minutes but not without a scare when Burn should have scored.
To be honest the result seemed cruel on Brighton but City had done well to recover from a poor first half and had a little bit of luck at the right time. The change of formation part way through the match worked but Rodgers must address the slow starts which hand the initiative to the opposition.
City are doing so well to hold position in the top four in the face of many injuries. Iheanacho, the Sky man of the match, is growing in confidence and working well with Vardy who, unfortunately, still does not look quite right after his operation. Amartey is doing well in defence but is somewhat limited when going forward and slows down the play. The defence looks vulnerable without Evans but nevertheless held firm during the match after the first goal.
After a relentless series of games City now have a week until the next match against Sheffield United to rest, recuperate and prepare. City were probably somewhat fortunate to get all three points but it keeps our place in the top four. Wouldn’t it be good if we could prove the so-called pundits wrong and be there at the end of the season!
Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel, Wesley Fofana, Çaglar Söyüncü, Daniel Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi, Timothy Castagne, Ricardo Pereira, Sidnei Tavares, Youri Tielemans, Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho: Subs used: Hamza Choudhury, Marc Albrighton
Brighton: Robert Sánchez, Lewis Dunk, Ben White, Dan Burn, Joël Veltman, Yves Bissouma, Alexis MacAllister, Leandro Trossard, Pascal Groß, Neal Maupay, Adam Lallana. Subs used: Steven Alzate, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Danny Welbeck.
The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation