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City Held By Brighton In Premier League’s Filbert Way Return

Premier League football returned to King Power Stadium on Tuesday night, as Leicester City drew 0-0 with Brighton & Hove Albion following Kasper Schmeichel's first half penalty save.
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Unable to attend the fixture, the Blue Army did their best to replicate King Power Stadium’s atmosphere by sharing their matchday rituals, set-ups and messages of encouragement via social media throughout the day.

Supporters followed the game from nearby and afar, as Brendan Rodgers’ men contested their first home match since the resumption of Premier League football.

The Northern Irishman, during his 50th game in charge of the Club, made three changes to his starting XI, handing Papy Mendy a sixth Premier League appearance of 2019/20 on the same day as his 28th birthday, while Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho were also involved from the off.

An early opportunity fell Brighton’s way, with Alexis Mac Allister striking the wall with his free-kick before left-back Ben Chilwell – scorer of a stunner against Watford – had to head clear a delivery from the follow-up.

Denmark international Schmeichel, who performed superbly at Vicarage Road, then pulled off a fine save on 14 minutes to deny Neal Maupay from the spot after James Justin had fouled Aaron Connolly in the area.

A brilliant challenge from Çağlar Söyüncü then prevented Connolly from opening the scoring, as the City No.4’s tackle saw the effort loop off target just past the first half’s midway point.

The Premier League’s top scorer, Jamie Vardy, came close to capitalising on an error from Mat Ryan with five minutes of the first half to play, but he couldn’t bring the ball under control and the Brighton stopper was able to recover.

Midfielder Aaron Mooy dragged just moments later, before a brilliant block from Justin at the back post saw him prevent Lewis Dunk from opening the scoring as the game approached half-time. 

Söyüncü, meanwhile, had an opportunity at the other end following a scramble in the Brighton box, only to nod wide at the far post during first half stoppage time.

Nine minutes after the interval, a header from Vardy was nodded down into the path of Chilwell, who from inside the area couldn’t hit the target with a right-footed effort.

No.10 James Maddison followed up on the hour mark with a powerful drive from range, only to lift his effort over the bar as the host outfit looked for an opener.

A double change for the Foxes on 68 minutes saw Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes introduced in place of Iheanacho and Mendy, while Ayoze Pérez came on for Gray shortly after, providing the hosts with fresh legs in key areas of the field.

A wayward strike from Maddison came on 76 minutes, while the attacking midfielder had a left-footed effort blocked and fired a free-kick over not long after as City began to dominate proceedings in the latter stages on Filbert Way.

However, while a penalty shout late on for the Foxes was turned down after the ball struck Dunk's arm in the area, for all of their possession, Rodgers’ side couldn’t find a breakthrough and were forced to settle for a point.

Major moment

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

The Foxes stopper denied Neal Maupay from 12 yards in the first half.

While the Foxes looked more likely to claim all three points after dominating possession in the second half, it was Kasper Schmeichel’s penalty save before the break that ensured City were not beaten on Filbert Way.

After James Justin was penalised for a challenge on Aaron Connolly, Neal Maupay stepped up to take the spot-kick, but thankfully, Schmeichel went the right way to stop the Brighton attacker’s effort.

Who impressed?

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Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

Matt Elliott selected Jonny Evans as his Man of the Match against Brighton.

Speaking on LCFC Radio’s Matchday Live, Matt Elliott said: "For me, with a doubt it was Jonny Evans. Sometimes you get a different perception of how the game is going. You’re watching parts of the game that others didn’t see. For me, I thought it was straight forward from Leicester’s point of view."

Where do we stand?

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James Maddison
James Maddison

The City No.10 receives instructions from Brendan Rodgers at King Power Stadium.

City’s second consecutive draw sees them remain third in the division after 31 matches played. They sit four points above Chelsea, who face current Premier League champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Coming up…

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Ben Chilwell
Ben Chilwell

Ben Chilwell wins a header against Brighton midfielder Aaron Mooy.

Leicester’s next challenge arrives in the form of an Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final tie with Chelsea at King Power Stadium on Sunday (4pm kick-off).

Their next Premier League match, meanwhile, sees them head to Goodison Park on Wednesday 1 July to take on Everton (6pm kick-off).

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All times BST.

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