Analysis: Solid debuts for Brighton duo but Albion lacked experience to see the game out against Leicester City

Iheanacho fires past Christian WaltonIheanacho fires past Christian Walton
Iheanacho fires past Christian Walton
Brighton went out of the FA Cup to Leicester tonight after a late header from Kelechi Iheanacho put The Foxes into the quarter-finals

Leicester snatched victory at the death at The King Power Stadium with a 1-0 win against a much-changed Brighton line up.

Graham Potter made seven changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Burnley in the Premier League at the weekend, with Christian Walton replacing Robert Sanchez, Michal Karbownik and Jakub Moder making their debuts, Steven Alzate, Percy Tau, Andi Zeqiri and Adam Lallana all getting the nod.

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Other new signing Moises Caicedo made the Brighton bench, while Danny Welbeck was fit enough to be named as a sub but did not get a run out.

Brendan Rodgers also made seven changes as Jamie Vardy was brought back into the starting line up, however the rapid Englishman was nullified by Brighton's back three.

The first half was a cagey affair, with both team's set up in the same 3-5-2 formation and then 5-3-2 when defending.

Brighton had the better of it in the first 45 minutes, pressing effectively, passing the ball around nicely in patches, beating a man and generally getting the ball close to the Leicester box.

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Brighton's best half chances fell to Percy Tau, who nearly got on the end of a Zeqiri cross, and debutant Jakub Moder's effort from just inside the box nearly saw Albion go ahead.

The second half was similar to the first, both teams defended well as a unit and came close on the counter but lacked the final ball.

Brighton had the ball in the net in the 64th minute when Zeqiri dinked over the top of a sliding Danny Ward, but the linesman's delayed flag ruled Percy Tau offside in the build up.

Two minutes later, Leicester thought they had gone ahead after a Dan Burn mistake fell to Cengiz Under who fired past Walton, but the linesman on the opposite side flagged Iheanacho offside for his early run in behind.

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Lallana's rallying calls, Michal Karbownik's positive runs down the right hand side, Zeqiri's work rate, the solid back three of Lewis Dunk, Ben White, Dan Burn wasn't enough to dispatch Leicester to get into the next round.

Leicester left it until the dying seconds of the game to go ahead after some heavy pressure led to a short corner which was crossed in and finished off by Iheanacho, who was free at the back post.


It was just one of those unfortunate results, really. A bit of a coin toss, it could have gone either way. Brighton defended well all game and limited a good Leicester side to two shots or three shots on target, which all came in the final five minutes.

Maybe it was the lack of experienced heads on the pitch to see the game out, with Adam Webster out injured, Adam Lallana subbed off late on, it left around four regulars in Lewis Dunk, Dan Burn, Pascal Gross and the late substitute Yves Bissouma on the pitch at the final whistle.

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It could also be mentioned, but it would maybe be harsh to pin it on him, that Christian Walton wasn't as commanding in his box as Robert Sanchez has been of late. The second choice keeper was caught sleeping, like the rest of the team, when Iheanacho popped up at the back post to fire The Foxes into the next round.

Brighton may also rue their missed chances, or half chances, with Percy Tau nearly getting on the end of Steven Alzate's dangerous ball into the box and Zeqiri firing the wrong side of the post after he picked the ball up when James Justin went down injured near his penalty box.

The positives to take from the game would be the solid performances from the two new Polish debutants Moder and Karbownik, with the latter catching the eye for his forward runs, neat link up play and pace.

Moder looks like a box-to-box, industrious athlete, who can link up play and do both the attacking and defending side of the central midfield role.

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It does feel like a missed opportunity for Brighton and Graham Potter to make a good go of the FA Cup this year but the focus will now be back onto the Premier League.

Brighton have proved they have a good squad of players tonight, though.