Saturday, 17 September 2011

Conclusions from Brighton & Hove Albion

Leicester City1-0Brighton & Hove Albion
(HT 0-0)
Abe 46

King Power Stadium, attendance: 24,128
BBC Match Report

Home Team: Schmeichel, Peltier (Pantsil 72), Bamba, Mills (58), Konchesky, King (90+2), Wellens, Fernandes (11), Abe, Vassell (88), Beckford (Schlupp 90+3)

Away Team: Ankergren, Greer, Dunk (49), Calderon, Painter (44 79), Noone (Buckley 60), Harley (Lua Lua 72 (90)), Dicker (54, Navarro 68), Bridcutt, Barnes, Mackail-Smith

  • An excellent first half performance. Other than having a goal that was actually registered by the officials there was not much more an impressive Leicester City team could do in the first forty-five minutes. Lee Peltier's disallowed goal - the referee failed to play an advantage after a foul on Darius Vassell - would have capped a superb performance from him and from the team.
  • On-form Foxes knock others off their perch. The goal advantage carried-over into the second half and a newly-resilient Foxes closed-down, dug-in and persevered to harry and frustrate a Brighton side that became increasingly frustrated as the game went on. Any second goal would have killed this game but, as it happened, the Foxes never needed it. Leicester City are building a reputation as a team to rip-apart the form guide.

Lee Peltier
Peltier showed a touch of class and it was harsh on him that his superb effort midway through the first half was chalked-off. It would have been a just reward for a man who has surely assured himself of a more permanent first team berth: this display was dazzling, in attack but importantly in defence too - exactly the opposite of what John Pantsil has shown so far this season. It was a shame to see him vanish down the tunnel toward the medical room and the Ghanaian take his place midway through the second half.

Yuki Abe
He was, perhaps, the surprise choice in Sven Goran Eriksson's team selection but Yuki Abe offered a more defensive bias to the Foxes' midfield, as well as a surprising amount of width. On the right hand side of the midfield diamond he provided a useful support for the attacking Peltier and gave the whole team a so-far evasive element of balance. That Abe was able to cap his performance with a superb header less than a minute into the second half assures top marks for the Japanese international in the eyes of this pundit.

Sol Bamba
An excellent performance from a man who has been under fire of late. Perhaps given a confidence boost with the more-assured Peltier to the right of him, Bamba impressed this afternoon with his pace, power and drive.

Darius Vassell
Another solidly impressive performance from Vassell, who Sky (Sky? They hate Leicester!) referred to mid-way through the first half as "Premiership class". His pinpoint cross set-up Abe for the Foxes' opener. Today he may have been man of the match but this season he is so far Leicester City's stand-out player.

Brighton & Hove Albion
Ugly, aggressive and without ideas, Brighton did trouble Foxes' keeper Schmeichel once or twice during the game but without the quality of a top-of-the-table side. Even with an open goal they failed to find the net. Based on this performance, Gus Poyet will be a worried man: his side lack the conviction to snatch victory in difficult circumstances.

John Pantsil
The only weak link in the Leicester City defence this afternoon was substitute Pantsil who performance was a polar opposite to that of fellow full-back Peltier. His forward runs left the Foxes' back line exposed whilst defensively he was shaky at best - thankfully Matt Mills had a decent game and was able to mop-up after Pantsil's errors on this occasion.

Jermaine Beckford
A relatively quiet afternoon for Beckford, who is yet to get off the mark for the Foxes. No panic yet, he's only played twice, but he would like to get off the mark sooner rather than later.

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