Leicester City 2, Brighton 0: Shot-shy Seagulls suffer back-to-back defeats as Foxes ease to victory

Solly March battles for the ball with Leicester City's Marc Albrighton. Picture by PW Sporting Pics
Solly March battles for the ball with Leicester City's Marc Albrighton. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

A threatless Brighton & Hove Albion suffered disappointment in their first away day in the Premier League as they well-beaten by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

The visitors trailed after just 52 seconds to a tap-in from Shinji Okazaki after a Mathew Ryan mistake and added a second through Harry Maguire in the second half for their 2-0 victory.
It was a sloppy display from the Seagulls in what was their first top flight away game for 34 years.

Mathew Ryan slides out to take the ball off Jamie Vardy's toe and received a knock to the face for his efforts. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Mathew Ryan slides out to take the ball off Jamie Vardy's toe and received a knock to the face for his efforts. Picture by PW Sporting Pics


They offered very little threat in the first half and were fortunate to trail only 1-0 after a mistake-riddled opening 25 minutes.


They improved slightly thereafter, but the best of their chances was a Glenn Murray disallowed goal for offside as the Foxes continuously looked a threat on the counter-attack.


Further concerns will be Murray limping off injured in the second half leaving Albion woefully low on strike power which showed even with the striker playing as they had just one shot on target in the 90 minutes.


They have now not scored in open play in their last five competitive matches. Before Murray's penalty against Aston Villa on the final day of last season, was Solly March's promotion-clincher against Wigan Atheltic.


Albion made two changes from their opening-day defeat to Manchester City with Murray replacing Tomer Hemed and Jamie Murphy in for the injured Izzy Brown, who is back at parent club Chelsea to treat his hamstring problem.


Former Foxes man Anthony Knockaert was again on the bench as he continued his return from injury, while ex-Albion striker Leonardo Ulloa was among the substitutes for Leicester.
Albion went into the game having beaten the Foxes both home and away in their last meetings back in the 2013-14 season, the year that Leicester won the Championship.


Yet it was a disastrous start from the visitors, as, after a break of their own, Leicester countered and Riyad Mahrez was allowed too much time and space on the right. He cut in and his low shot was spilled by Ryan with Okazaki pouncing to turn home.


Albion's first real surge forwards came on 12 minutes with a nice over-lapping move between Pascal Gross and Markus Suttner resulting in the latter's crossed cleared as far as March on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked.


Another heart-in-mouth moment came on 17 minutes as Suttner was caught on the ball and Okazaki drove forwards to cross for Jamie Vardy, the striker's first effort was blocked by Shane Duffy, the second, miss-hit.


Ryan then took a knock to the head from Vardy as he raced out to and slid to intercept a delightful through ball from Wilfred Ndidi that split the Albion defence.


Murray, who had shaken off an earlier knock, tucked away nicely on the turn from a lofted March ball over the top on 23 minutes, but the striker went too early and was correctly flagged offside.


Massive shouts of handball from the away end were waved away by referee Lee Probert on 27 minutes as Murphy let fly with a scorching effort and it was blocked just inside the box.


The Foxes once again warned of their counter-attacking threat just past the half-hour as a Okazaki back-heel set Ndidi away and his crossfield pass saw Marc Albrighton cut in, wander across the pitch and have his effort deflected wide.


Okazaki could and probabaly should have had his and Leicester's second four minutes before the break as he flew in on the stretch to meets Vardy's cross, but put it just wide.


Chris Hughton opted not to make changes at the break and the hosts trailed 2-0 on 55 minutes as Maguire rose highest to nod home a Mahrez corner.


A neat move saw March cross for Murray just before the hour mark, but the striker could not connect inside the six yard box and the ball fell to safety. Soon after Gross was replaced by Knockaert to a rousing reception from both sets of fans.


Hemed also came on for a limping Murray, and his low shot was saved by Kasper Schmeichel, giving the home keeper his first real exertion of the afternoon. The next chance on 73 minutes was at Ryan's goal, but the lively Mahrez saw his shot blocked away.


The remaining 15 minutes saw a solid Leicester shut-out their visitors in a game in which Schmeichel was troubled just once as Albion really struggled to find a threat in the attacking third.


Leicester City: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, James, Albrighton, Okazaki (Slimani 75), Vardy (Gray 90). Unused subs: Hamer, Chilwell, Amartey, King, Slimani, Ulloa.


Albion: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner; Murphy, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross (Knockaert 62); Murray (Hemed 66). Unused subs: Maenpaa, Bong, Huenemeier, Rosenior, Skalak.


Attendance: 31,902.


Referee: Lee Probert.