Following a largely uneventful first half, the clash burst into life with 14 minutes remaining as Schmeichel made an outstanding stop to deny Glenn Murray from 12 yards.
Puel made one change to the line-up which suffered a 2-1 extra-time defeat by Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup before the international break, with Shinji Okazaki replacing Kelechi Iheanacho.
Satisfied Schmeichel On Brighton Success
Leicester City's penalty-saving goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel reflects on the 2-0 victory over Brighton on Saturday.
It was the Seagulls who threatened most in the early stages with Ezequiel Schelotto, José Izquierdo and Jürgen Locadia all causing City problems in the final third.
Brighton's biggest chance came in the 36th minute as the ball fell to the feet of Murray, in behind the Foxes backline, but the 34-year-old striker blazed it wide of Schmeichel’s net.
It was a nervous moment for Puel’s visitors and, for large periods, they had to soak up extensive pressure and wait for the right moment to break forwards in numbers.
Malian youngster Fousseni Diabaté’s introduction in the 56th minute, replacing Okazaki, injected pace into Leicester’s play and they began to find more space in attacking positions.
Brighton were handed a guilt-edged opportunity to open the scoring in the 76th minute when Ndidi, already on a booking, was adjudged to have have felled Izquierdo in the 18-yard box.
While Ndidi escaped that scare, Schmeichel exhibited his superb penalty-saving powers once again to parry Murray’s spot-kick, aimed for his bottom left corner.
Leicester settled and, with seven minutes to play, Chilwell found Iborra in space, allowing the Spaniard to register his third goal for the Club with a smart close-range header.
The landscape became worrisome in the 87th minute when Ndidi was dealt a second yellow, for a challenge on Shane Duffy, but Vardy’s 96th minute strike, his 18th this season, made sure of a big result.
Harry Maguire races to Kasper Schmeichel after the Dane's decisive penalty stop.
“Winning today started with Kasper's save. After that, we started to believe. We scored two important goals, but it was only possible because of that save from Kasper.” – Vicente Iborra.
Throughout his City career, Kasper Schmeichel has come to the rescue of his colleagues with a string of momentous penalty saves, both domestically and in Europe last term.
This latest intervention, to prevent Glenn Murray from adding his 12th goal of the season, altered the complexation of the match, as Vicente Iborra pointed out at full-time in Brighton.
The arrival of Fousseni Diabaté gave City a different option.
Fousseni Diabaté’s arrival also proved to be a game-changing moment as Leicester displayed a far greater attacking threat after the Malian’s arrival.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Club in January, provided Claude Puel’s men with a different option and caught the Brighton defenders off guard with his box of tricks.
Where does it leave us?
England striker Jamie Vardy celebrates doubling Leicester's lead.
City remain in eighth position in the Premier League standings, three points adrift of Burnley, who overcame West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
City boss Claude Puel thanks the Blue Army, all 3,000 of them, at full-time.
Newcastle United visit King Power Stadium next Saturday (3pm kick-off) before a trip to Turf Moor to tackle Burnley on Saturday 14 April (3pm kick-off).
Following his dismissal, meanwhile, it is confirmed that Wilfred Ndidi will miss both matches as he serves a two-match suspension.
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