Brighton & Hove Albion 1:0 Leicester City
City ended Saturday’s match against Brighton at the Amex with eight men on the field as a tight game descended into a farce…
Nigel Pearson made one change to his side for City’s first visit to Brighton’s impressive new stadium, with Drinkwater in for Gallagher.
City enjoyed a lot of possession in the early stages of the game as Brighton seemed content to sit back and await their chance.
Neither keeper was troubled until the 15th minute when Brezovan comfortable fielded a Konchesky free-kick.
Gradually Brighton stepped up their attacking game and they had the ball in the net in the 25th minute, but Sparrow’s effort was ruled offside.
Wellens was then to blame for allowing Mackail-Smith in to set up Sparrow, but the City midfiedler raced back to make amends and challenged just as Schmeichel came out bravely to block.
Mackail-Smith then squandered a chance from close in, before Nugent sent a header inches wide to wrap up the first half action.
We’ll never know how this even-matched game would have turned out as City were reduced to ten men just seven minutes into the second half.
Beckford appeared to be annoyed at how easily Seagulls defender Dunk had gone over and gave him a slight nudge to encourage him up. This had the linesman wildly flagging for the ref’s attention and a red card was waved after consultation.
Nigel Pearson brought Morgan on for his debut, and City looked pretty comfortable for most of the reminder of the game.
Buckley went close as he broke down the right chasing a Vokes ball, but Schmeichel beat away his angled drive and althought the rebound returned to Buckley he fired it over the bar.
City were still creating chances of their own and Drinkwater cut in dangerously from the left but couldn’t find Nugent with his cross when he should perhaps have had an attempt on goal himself.
With five minutes to go the sides were evened up when Sparrow was dismissed for a wild challenge that caught the newly introduced Marshall on the shin.
Another City sub Delfouneso, also took a heavy knock and was off the field when the home side summoned their cruel 90th minute winner.
Nine man City were stretched by a Seagulls attack and Vicente managed to pick out Buckley near the left hand post with time and room to line up a cool finish past Schmeichel.
It got worse for City in injury time when Danns hauled down Vicente on the edge of the area, was judged to have been last man, and recieved the third red card of the game.
It was harsh on City, who had battled hard for something from this game, and also for their supporters, who faced a long and arduous trip home through arctic conditions.
Brighton: Brezovan, Calderon, Greer, Dunk, El-Abd (Mattock 63), Sparrow, Navarro (Vokes 63), Bridcutt, Buckley, Mackail-Smith (Vicente 70), Barnes. Unused Subs: Ankergren, Forster-Caskey.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, St Ledger, Konchesky (Morgan 59), Drinkwater, Danns, Wellens (Marshall 67), Dyer, Nugent (Delfouneso 76), Beckford. Unused Subs: Logan, Gallagher.
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire). Attendance: 20,223.