“The man of the match was the linesman”

Brighton 2 City 1

Report by Kate Thompson

I quote from a Brighton fan while in the interminable queue for a train after the match. 

Unlike some reports, I thought City started brightly and they apparently had two-thirds of possession – but, as we know, that is a pretty meaningless statistic.  The majority of the play in the first half was at the end farthest from the Leicester supporters, so it was difficult to see exactly how the game panned out. 

The first controversial decision came against the run of play, when Vestergaard was adjudged to have handled the ball in the 34th minute.  The referee signalled for a corner but the linesman obviously alerted him that he should award a penalty.  This was bizarre, as the referee was much closer to the action, and subsequent television coverage showed that Maupay was hanging onto his left arm, stopping him from jumping. 

I thought referees had been instructed to stop all the argy-bargy in the box but there is precious little evidence of it.  The correct decision would have been a free kick to Leicester but Maupay sent Schmeichel the wrong way and we were chasing the game.

A second Brighton goal came soon after the restart when Welbeck scored a good goal with his head.  This seemed to galvanise Leicester, and the rest of the play was practically one-way traffic. 

Lookman had replaced the ineffective Maddison for the second half and made an immediate impact; some fans gave him the man of the match for his half a game.  In the 61st minute, a slick passing move saw Vardy score his 150th goal for the club but sadly that was as good as it got. 

To misquote Oscar Wilde, to have one goal disallowed is a misfortune, to have two disallowed is beyond belief.  From our position behind the goal, it was difficult to see why either was chalked off, but I agree with Rodgers that Barnes might have unsighted the keeper for the first one, but certainly not for the second.  Lookman thought he had scored in the 66th minute and Ndidi in the 85th.  The latter was booked again, along with two Brighton players, one of whom was Sanchez for persistent time wasting.

So, it was some very unhappy Leicester fans who faced a long journey home and, for those of us on the train, more frustration when there was a problem with the line.  But Brighton hadn’t beaten us since 2014 and I will give them that one in exchange for knocking them out of the FA Cup last season! 

Nobody had a particularly bad game, apart from Maddison whose form seems to have completely deserted him, and two of the new boys – Soumare and Lookman – made a good case for starting other games.

City: Schmeichel, Pereira, Vestergaard, Soyuncu, Bertrand, Soumare, Ndidi, Tielemans, Barnes, Vardy, Maddison. Subs: Lookman, Castagne, Iheanacho

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