City edge out Seagulls to stay top

Leicester City 1:0 Brighton & Hove Albion

City maintained their 100% home record and hung on to top spot with a 1-0 win over Brighton on a misty Tuesday night at the KPS…

Nigel Pearson made no changes to the side that drew at Birmingham, and after a couple of early forays by Brighton, City exerted an intense spell of pressure on the visitors, winning a series of corners.
Waghorn then fired a long range effort at Kuszczak, before City took a 10th minute lead. As both players charged towards goal Nugent fed the ball to King, whose first effort was blocked by Greer. But the ball fell kindly for the Welshman who made no mistake with his second chance.
It was a great start in front of the biggest crowd of the season but a chance to gain a comfortable lead was missed after De Laet made 60 yards progress down the right before teeing up Waghorn who blazed over the bar.
Knockaert, who had a quiet first half but was to make up for it later, then forced a good save from Kuszczak before the game lost its momentum leading up to half time.
The second half was more even with City conceding a bit of ground and Brighton being given room to get their passing game going. However City’s defence, well marshalled by Captain Morgan, weren’t unduly stretched until Whitbread was rather harshly judged to have brought down Buckley in the area, the ref looking happy to let it go before the linesman flagged.
There wasn’t much wrong with Barnes’ spot-kick, placed low to Schmeichel’s left, but the City keeper reached it to pull off a fantastic save, Morgan diving in  to thwart any effort from the rebound.
With Marshall and Vardy on for Waghorn and Nugent City pressed forward with some delightful play in the last twenty minutes, Knockaert earning repeated applause for some fantastic passing and the odd party trick.
The Seagulls did have a couple of chances however, with  Barnes heading over while unmarked and then sending a late effort straight at Schmeichel.
It was a night when City weren’t quite firing on all cylinders and they had to work very hard to beat a decent Brighton side, but they did. The mark of a side that deserves to be at the top.
Nigel Pearson told the club’s official website:  “I don’t think tonight we quite had the energy levels we’ve had for the majority of the season so far, but we managed the game better than we have others. Towards the end, when Brighton started to go a bit more direct and upped the tempo a bit, we were able to see the game through.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Moore 56), Morgan, Whitbread, Konchesky, Knockaert, King, Drinkwater, Dyer, Waghorn (Marshall 71), Nugent (Vardy 68). Unused Subs: Logan, James, Schlupp, Futacs.
Brighton: Kuszczak, Bruno, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge; Bridcutt, Crofts (Hammond 78), Dicker (Dobbie 60), Buckley, Mackail-Smith, Barnes. Unused Subs: Dunk, Calderon, Ankergren, Lopez, Lualua.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire). Attendance: 25,726.

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