Six things we learned from Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City
It was a frustrating afternoon for Brighton yesterday as they drew 1-1 with ten-man Leicester at the Amex. Here's six things we learned from the game.
A frustrating afternoon and two points dropped
It was probably the most frustrating home match for Brighton in their 25 Premier League matches at the Amex.
Things had started so well with a lively start and Glenn Murray putting the Seagulls ahead after a quarter-of-an-hour.
Chances for Albion to extend their lead didn't come, though, even after James Maddison was sent off for two bookings before the half-hour mark.
Jose Izquierdo was off target with a couple of efforts after cutting in from the left but other opportunities were few and far between.
Leicester came more and more into the game during the second half and few could have begrudged them a point by the end.
Brighton will perhaps regret not pushing for a second goal to kill the match more and it will go down as two points dropped.
However before the game kicked-off, few Albion fans would have turned down a point against Leicester - so long as the Seagulls pick up positive results in their next three games against Huddersfield, Crystal Palace and Burnley.
Quality off the bench
It was Leicester's quality off the bench which made the difference and helped the Foxes earn what ended up being a deserved point.
Even before Claude Puel introduced Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho in the second half, Wilfred Ndidi had added some energy into the Foxes midfield after replacing the injured Vicente Iborra after 30 minutes.
It was Vardy who made the real difference, though. The 31-year-old lifted the Leicester players and fans with his all-action approach and he'd already caused problems before equalising from the penalty spot 11 minutes from time.
Iheanacho almost won it for the Foxes late on when he flashed a shot just wide.
At 1-0 up versus ten men against the majority of teams in the bottom half of the Premier League, Albion would more than likely go on and take all three points but Leicester's substitutes ultimately made the difference.
Leicester attacking midfielder James Maddison was sent off for two bookings in the space of three minutes just before the half-hour mark.
The summer signing from Norwich, who has impressed for the Foxes so far this season, was shown his first yellow card when he cynically tripped Anthony Knockaert as the Frenchman looked to break forward on 25 minutes.
Less then three minutes later, Maddison was off the pitch after being booked for diving when he went down under a Shane Duffy challenge. Duffy stuck a leg out and Maddison took full advantage to theatrically go down.
The dismissal is something the talented 22-year-old will learn from going forward as he bids to break into the England squad on a regular basis.
Up for it
Anthony Knockaert was certainly up for the game against one of his former sides.
The Frenchman made a lively start and had a free kick and then the follow-up shot blocked in the early stages, before he set up Glenn Murray for the opening goal on 15 minutes.
It was an inch-perfect delivery from a corner by Knockaert and Murray glanced the ball home at the near post to give Albion the lead.
Knockaert's influence waned the longer the match went on as Albion struggled to get the ball out wide to the winger in the second half and he was subbed with 20 minutes to go.
Albion were boosted by the return of midfielders Pascal Gross and Davy Propper after their respective ankle injuries.
Gross, Brighton's player of the season last year, had missed eight matches while Propper had been ruled out for the previous four games.
Dutch international Propper showed some lovely touches in the middle of the park as he linked up with Beram Kayal, with Dale Stephens serving the first match of a three-game ban.
Brighton have failed to create many chances in matches with Gross out and the German playmaker set up Kayal for a chance after just 12 minutes.
Chances were otherwise few and far between for Albion but with Gross back in the side, Brighton will hope more opportunities will begin to come their way in matches.
Over reliance on Murray?
Just where would Brighton be without top-scorer Glenn Murray?
The 35-year-old scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season yesterday with an excellent header from Anthony Knockaert's corner and he has now scored half of Albion's league goals this season.
His form has seen Florin Andone and Jurgen Locadia only get limited game time, so it would be a concern for Albion fans if Murray was to pick up an injury.
Brighton rely heavily on the frontman and he has led the line in exemplary fashion again this season. He scored 14 goals last season - 12 in the Premier League - and if he stays fit, there is little doubt he will pass that total this year.
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