Perhaps it is not only Albion fans who are tired of watching Graham Potter's men play well without reward. It seems that even the football writers wanted a night off from the experience because some of the familiar faces were absent from the Amex press seats for the Leicester game.
With Kieran Gill getting a well-deserved night off, it was left to Riath Al-Samarrai to file to the Mail on Sunday. Under a headline that mentioned “more late agony for Graham Potter's men”, he wrote that Leicester “trailed to Adam Lallana's first-half goal and at that point all manner of awkward possibilities may have followed, particularly if Lallana's subsequent header at 1-0 hadn't hit the post. Likewise if the same player had buried a chance when in front of goal ten minutes from time, with the score at 1-1. Ifs and buts - the most pointless lament in football, and one that is accompanying Brighton and Graham Potter into choppy waters.
“They play such nice football, lovely at times, but again their failure to perform the most fundamental act of the game has cost them, and indeed saved Leicester. After Kelechi Iheanacho pulled them level around the hour, it was Daniel Amartey who won it following Robert Sanchez's mis-read of a Marc Albrighton corner. It was a bad error from a good goalkeeper, and with it Brighton lost a game they might have won. Their winless run is now six while Leicester climbed to second.”
Ian Hawkey of the Sunday Times concealed his support of one of Albion’s relegation rivals with a sympathetic intro, writing that “Brighton & Hove Albion are compiling a few too many what-might-have-beens. All those draws that might have been wins, and now the narrow defeats that keep adding up. Brighton, three points above the relegation zone, were ahead against Leicester City at half-time and deservedly.
“But they finished as losers for the third match on the trot after an unfortunate error from goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who ended a fine personal display by misjudging a corner, Daniel Amartey capitalising. Leicester City, who moved up to second in the Premier League table, had grown in strength up until then, much improved after half-time. Kelechi Iheanacho had given them the platform to seize their late win with a handsome equaliser.”
In the Sunday Telegraph, Jim White wrote that “with just ten minutes elapsed, an unusual thing happened: Brighton actually scored a goal. Perhaps assuming nothing would come of another quickfire attack by the home side, Leicester's defence failed to clear an attack when the opportunity arose. The ball broke to Neal Maupay who held off a couple of defenders with his back to goal, then played a clever ball into Adam Lallana's path. The forward rifled the ball past Kasper Schmeichel with the kind of aplomb which suggested this is what Brighton players do all the time. It was, in fact, his first goal for the club, his first in the Premier League since he scored for Liverpool against Manchester United in October 2019.
“Having taken the lead, how he and his teammates fought to maintain their unexpected position of superiority. Yves Bissouma was typical of Brighton's resolve, tackling, blocking, constantly getting in the way of Leicester's progress.
“The press continued unabated, their spirit evident in Sanchez bawling out 'keep working' or Lallana yelling 'yes Alexis' when Alexis Mac Allister went sliding in to dispossess Ricardo Pereira. If their forwards had been able to take the ball beyond the Leicester backline without constantly handballing - as Maupay and Leandro Trossard did - there might even have been more goals.
“But the longer it went on without a second to secure the three points that would have taken them six clear of the relegation zone, the more certain it seemed Brighton would be undone.”
Tom Barclay of The Sun on Sunday, one of the few old Amex stagers present on Saturday to tell a sadly familiar tale, took up the story. “It was the second time in a matter of weeks Nigerian Iheanacho has proved a thorn in Brighton's side, having notched a 90th-minute winner to dump Albion out of the FA Cup last month,” he wrote. “But this one could well have hurt more for Graham Potter's side, who were desperately seeking a win to ease their relegation fears.
“After the break and Iheanacho, in confident mood from his recent form, crashed the ball into the side netting from an acute angle. It was a let-off for the hosts but ten minutes later, the Nigerian did find the target to level things up. Played through by an inch-perfect Youri Tielemans' pass, Iheanacho confidently lifted the ball high past Sanchez and into the net.
“From there it could have gone either way and with Lallana putting in a performance of his injury-free heyday, Brighton knew they still had a chance. The 32-year-old came close to his second with 11 minutes to go but his low shot was impressively tipped away by Schmeichel. Yet just as both sides were looking to settle for a point that neither really wanted, Leicester nicked all three.”
Ed Aarons of the Observer finished the sorry tale. “A late goal from Daniel Amartey after a mistake from goalkeeper Robert Sánchez helped Rodgers’ side come from behind against Brighton and move up to second place. It was yet another cruel blow for Graham Potter's side, who have suffered three successive defeats and are now looking even more nervously over their shoulders despite taking the lead through Adam Lallana’s first goal for the club.
“Brighton's improved form at the end of last season ensured their safety after a difficult first campaign under Potter. While they have shown signs of improvement at times, only three points here would be enough to surpass their tally at the equivalent stage last year.
“Lallana - who was signed by Rodgers while he was at Liverpool – could have ruined the evening for his former manager had [Kasper] Schmeichel not been alert to save his first-time effort after being set up by substitute Danny Welbeck. But having been the hero in the first half after denying Tavares, Sanchez rushed off his line and watched in horror as Marc Albrighton's corner sailed over him and on to the head of the stooping Amartey at the back post.”