Leicester 2-2 Brighton: Brighton score late to deny Leicester victory

Harvey Barnes shoots
Barnes has scored seven goals so far this season, Leicester’s joint-top goal scorer with Maddison

Youngster Evan Ferguson scored late to earn Brighton a point after Leicester had come from behind to take the lead at King Power Stadium.

Kaoru Mitoma opened the scoring for Brighton after he drifted into the midfield and swept in a stunning curled shot from outside the area for his fourth goal in six games.

Marc Albrighton, who had been on the pitch for just three minutes, tucked past Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez for the equalizer after Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans saw their shots saved.

Barnes put the home side ahead when he confidently finished Luke Thomas’ header, flicked on from a corner, and for 25 second-half minutes Brendan Rodgers’ men looked like they would earn their first win in five games.

But 18-year-old Ferguson rescued a point for Europe-chasing Brighton with his third Premier League goal, when he met Pervis Estupinan’s cross to head into the far corner.

The result moves Brighton up to sixth in the league while the Foxes are 14th but just one point above the relegation places.

Ferguson spoils Foxes fun

The Seagulls had won five games in seven coming into this tie against a struggling Leicester.

That record looked like it would be extended after Mitoma’s stunning opener, the winger is already making a name for himself and looks able to help offset the departure of Leandro Trossard to Arsenal.

However, goals from Albrighton and Barnes put the home side in charge and Leicester looked like earning their first win after four straight losses despite Brighton continuing to create openings. March tried to beat goalkeeper Danny Ward at the front post but was blocked, with Ward later saving with his knee from Alexis Mac Allister’s shot from range.

But Ferguson, who replaced Danny Welbeck on 66 minutes, was alert to Estupinan’s fizzed cross to keep his side well in contention for a European spot, an ambition manager Roberto de Zerbi made clear last week after seeing his side thrash Liverpool 3-0.

The Italian coach did however find himself in the book for his reaction after Brighton had a penalty claim waved away by both the referee and VAR.

“I think we deserved to win,” De Zerbi told BBC Match of the Day. “I think we played well. I saw the stats and it’s incredible for us.

“Mitoma scored a fantastic goal and Ferguson is an 18-year-old, Danny Welbeck played a good game. I am sorry for the result because Leicester have never been dangerous.

“They found the first goal and the second is a downfall of our set-pieces. One mistake for us,” he said.

Leicester squander three points

Leicester had lost all seven games when they conceded the opening goal in the Premier League this season.

The home side did however have early opportunities to go ahead. Midfielder Dennis Praet fired in a cross for Jamie Vardy to get on the end of only for Sanchez to block smartly and Barnes created another chance with a counter-attack down the left, but his pass to Vardy was poor and Estupinan cleared.

Things then started to feel all-too familiar for the Foxes when in the space of seven first-half minutes Mitoma opened the scoring for the visitors and then Praet limped off having only just returned from injury.

After fighting back to take the lead, they then defended hard although they also had a let-off when Solly March, who was not quite in the same form that has seen him score four goals in his last four games, leaned back and ballooned a shot over the bar from a Mitoma cut-back.

However, sitting deep for almost 30 minutes against a tenacious Brighton was always going to be a difficult ask for a side who have conceded 10 goals in their last five games.

Leicester fans did at least have the welcome return of James Maddison, who returned to the team after spending 10 weeks out with a knee injury he picked up before the World Cup in Qatar. With 20 minutes remaining, the forward came off the bench to replace Kieran Dewsbury-Hall.

Supporters may also have been pleased with a point against the in-form Brighton if asked at the start of the match but conceding a goal in the 89th minute delivers yet another blow to Rodgers’ campaign.

“[It] should have been a win,” said the Leicester boss. “I’m obviously disappointed with that but delighted for the players in terms of the gameplan. We nullified them. I thought the players did that excellently.

“We were the better team in the first half, we gave away the ball cheaply and then their guy scores a fantastic goal. But the players showed great spirit to get back into it..

“In terms of battling performance, we are nowhere near the level where I want us to be with the ball. But what we had today was a real spirit and a mentality. I think the supporters would have seen that so we put a marker down for the rest of the season for what we have to do in terms of our fight and mentality.”

Player of the match

dunksLewis Dunks

Leicester City

  1. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  2. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  3. Squad number7Player nameBarnes

  4. Squad number22Player nameDewsbury-Hall

  5. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  6. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  7. Squad number1Player nameWard

  8. Squad number27Player nameChestnuts

  9. Squad number3Player nameFaes

  10. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  11. Squad number33Player nameThomas

  12. Squad number26Player namePraet

  13. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  14. Squad number20Player nameDaka

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number5Player namedunks

  2. Squad number22Player nameMitome

  3. Squad number28Player nameFerguson

  4. Squad number10Player nameMacAllister

  5. Squad number7Player nameMarch

  6. Squad number13Player nameGross

  7. Squad number30Player nameEstupiñán

  8. Squad number25Player nameCaicedo

  9. Squad number1Player nameSanchez

  10. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck

  11. Squad number14Player nameLallana

  12. Squad number29Player namevan Hecke

  13. Squad number2Player nameLamptey

  14. Squad number34Player nameVeltman

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Ward
  • 27Chestnuts
  • 18Amartey
  • 3Faes
  • 33Thomas
  • 26PraetSubstituted forAlbrightonat 35′minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 24Mendy
  • 7Barnes
  • 9VardySubstituted forDakaat 86′minutes
  • 22Dewsbury-HallSubstituted forMaddisonat 69′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Söyuncü
  • 10Maddison
  • 11Albrighton
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 20Daka
  • 23Vestergaard
  • 31Iversen
  • 34brunt
  • 47McAteer

Brighton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Sanchez
  • 13Gross
  • 29van HeckeSubstituted forLampteyat 78′minutes
  • 5dunks
  • 30Estupiñán
  • 25Caicedo
  • 10MacAllisterBooked at 90mins
  • 7March
  • 14LallanaSubstituted forVeltmanat 30′minutes
  • 22Mitome
  • 18WelbeckSubstituted forFergusonat 66′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Lamptey
  • 4Websters
  • 19Sarmiento
  • 20Engraved
  • 21Undav
  • 23Steele
  • 27Gilmour
  • 28Ferguson
  • 34Veltman

Referees:
Thomas Bramall

Attendance:
32.056

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