Report: Albion battle to impressive point on the road

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The Seagulls continued their impressive form since the restart on Tuesday evening with a 0-0 draw with Leicester City.

By Luke Nicoli • 23 June 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Dan Burn contests possession at the King Power Stadium.
  • Albion battle to a deserved point on the road
  • Graham Potter names Albion’s youngest ever Premier League starting eleven
  • Tariq Lamptey makes Albion debut
  • Seagulls host Manchester United a week today

Albion continued their impressive return to Premier League action with an excellent point at Champions League-chasing Leicester City. 

Graham Potter’s side were a match throughout against the third-placed Foxes and it could have been even better had Neal Maupay not seen an early penalty superbly saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Instead, the Seagulls had to settle for a share of the spoils and a point that takes them another big step towards Premier League safety. 

Fresh from the weekend’s dramatic victory against Arsenal, Albion started the game on the front foot with Alexis Mac Allister – making his first start for the club – trying his luck from distance with a free kick. 

With five players under the age of 23 this is the youngest Brighton starting eleven to feature in the Premier League, including striker Aaron Connolly, who looked a threat throughout the opening stages. 

Indeed, with 12 minutes on the clock, the 20-year-old latched onto an Aaron Mooy through ball only to be felled by James Justin as he burst forward into the box. Referee Lee Mason had no hesitation pointing to the spot and following a VAR check, the penalty stood.

Up stepped Maupay, hoping to build on his winner against the Gunners, but Schmeichel was equal to effort, getting down superbly well to his right to save the spot kick.

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay saw his penalty saved in the first half.

Far from knocking their confidence, Albion continued on the front foot and 19-year-old Tariq Lamptey, making his debut following his move from Chelsea in January, looked particularly assured down the right flank.

Albion were forced into an early change with Shane Duffy replacing Adam Webster, at a time when Lamptey was temporarily forced onto the sidelines having sustained a nasty cut to his mouth. 

Following a brief hiatus in play for a drinks break, Potter’s men were again on the front foot with Connolly using his quick feet to cut inside Caglar Soyuncu, but the Turkish international recovered to deflect the resulting effort away for a corner. 

Leicester, aiming to cement third place in the division, came more into the game in terms of possession, but it was the Seagulls who had the next effort on goal with Mooy’s low drive deflecting away for a corner.

By Paul Hazlewood
Tariq Lamptey on his Albion debut.

Following the resulting corner, the ball eventually fell to Dale Stephens and his teasing ball into the box was met by Lewis Dunk, whose goalbound header was deflected to safety by Justin. 

Soyuncu saw a header fall the wrong side of the post on the stroke of half-time, following a goalmouth scramble, but it said much for Albion’s performance that it proved to be the Foxes’ only real effort of the half. 

Leicester played more on the front foot after the break although their best effort of the opening exchanges was a mis-hit effort from Ben Chilwell. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Mooy looks for space away from the home side.

With 57 minutes on the clock, Potter freshened up his side with Maupay, Mac Allister and Bissouma replaced by Leandro Trossard, Davy Propper and Solly March, but it was Leicester who created the next chance – James Maddison letting fly from the edge of the box.

Albion responded with a couple of corners in quick succession, but it was City who started to find more joy, with Maddison again trying his luck from distance. 

Following a flurry of substitutions, the hosts had, arguably, their strongest side on the pitch for the closing stages. Maddison wasted a good opportunity with a free-kick after he had been fouled by Duffy while Ayoze Perez was foiled at the far post by Dan Burn.

Hearts were in mouths deep into injury-time with Leicester appealing for a penalty after the ball struck Dunk inside the box, but Albion saw out the game to now sit six points clear of the drop zone. 

ALBION: Ryan (GK); Lamptey, Dunk, Webster (Duffy 24), Burn; Bissouma (Propper 58), Mooy, Stephens; Mac Allister (March 58), Maupay (Trossard 57), Connolly (Murray 82).

SUBS NOT USED: Button, Montoya, Schelotto, Gross.