Kasper Schmeichel comes to lacklustre Leicester's rescue

Dane save from Neal Maupay first-half penalty the only highlight on a dull night at the King Power Stadium

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It is increasingly hard to call it a Champions League charge. Leicester City remain on course for a top-four finish but they are stumbling towards their objective. They now have a solitary win and a mere seven points from their last seven league games after being held by Brighton & Hove Albion’s draw specialists and, for the second time in four days, did not deserve to beat a team embroiled in the battle at the bottom.

It ranked as a better point for Brighton, even though they missed the outstanding chance. Neal Maupay was the late hero against Arsenal and the early culprit versus Leicester, with his penalty being saved by Kasper Schmeichel. But a share of the spoils nonetheless took Albion's June haul to four points from two games. Another four might be enough to keep them up.

Brighton are in the minority to have excelled after emerging from lockdown, Leicester among the majority who are yet to recapture their best form so it made for an even affair. Leicester suffered from second-game syndrome in football’s restart, whereby changes are necessitated, but the team is weakened as a result.

Brendan Rodgers sprang a surprise by recalling Nampalys Mendy, affording the midfielder a present on his 28th birthday. The move backfired, however: Leicester missed the benched Youri Tielemans while James Maddison, shifted into a wider role, had a lesser impact as a 4-4-2 system scarcely worked.

Rodgers rarely plays with two strikers but selected Kelechi Iheanacho to partner Jamie Vardy. However, the top scorer was so marginalised he had a solitary touch in the first half-hour and he has still only scored in one game in 2020. Arguably Rodgers waited too late to bring on Tielemans and Harvey Barnes during the second-half drinks break. Predictably, Mendy and Iheanacho made way, allowing Maddison to play as a No 10, and Leicester finished with a stronger 11 than they started.

Brighton’s initial changes felt more progressive. Graham Potter’s willingness to experiment and trust in the new have been themes of Albion’s season and he named their youngest ever Premier League side. He gave full debuts to Tariq Lamptey and Alexis Mac Allister, another of Saturday’s influential substitutes. The right-back showed his pace and the Argentine midfielder some neat touches.

The choice of Aaron Connolly, who set up Maupay’s decider against Arsenal as a replacement, was soon justified. The Irishman showed his pace to chase Aaron Mooy’s ball over the top. James Justin tugged him back – it was a moment Leicester missed the excellent but injured right-back Ricardo Pereira – and Lee Mason pointed to the spot. But Schmeichel denied Maupay, guessing right, diving decisively but also benefitting from a shot that was not precise enough. Perhaps Matteo Guendouzi, Maupay’s nemesis on Saturday, enjoyed it. Certainly Schmeichel did: this was his second successive penalty save after denying Sergio Aguero in February.

But Connolly was a livewire. Caglar Soyuncu did well to deflect a shot over after another swift burst. The sense with some of Brighton’s emerging players has been that their future will be brighter, providing they can survive this season and the January arrival Mac Allister was another to offer encouragement. An older signing, Mooy, dragged a shot just wide.

Potter had to revise his plans again when Adam Webster limped off in the first half, meaning the old firm of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk were reunited at the back but the change hardly afforded Leicester an opening. They did not threaten for 45 minutes until, after a bout of penalty-box pinball, Soyuncu headed wide.

As Brighton faded as an attacking force, Leicester improved after the break and Maddison fizzed an effort wide but Potter, who has forged a reputation as a fine deployer of substitutes, shored Albion up with a triple change. Leicester nevertheless began to dominate possession and Maddison started to look more menacing, finding space between the lines and attempting a couple of shots.

But Mat Ryan has had far busier afternoons in the Albion goal and the Australian did not need to make a memorable save. A draw was secured by the endeavours of his teammates but, from a Leicester perspective, the game was summed up when Pereira, watching on from an executive box, yawned.