November 23, 2019 / 6:20 PM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Vardy strikes again as high-flying Leicester see off Brighton

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BRIGHTON, England, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Jamie Vardy continued his sparkling run in front of goal as Leicester City beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 for their fifth consecutive Premier League victory on Saturday.

After failing to score with their first 11 attempts on goal at the Amex Stadium, Leicester returned from the halftime break to punish Brighton twice and stay second in the table, on 29 points and eight behind Liverpool.

Ayoze Perez, whose three previous league goals for Leicester came in a 9-0 rout of Southampton last month, scored the opener from close range on 64 minutes after Vardy broke through on the right flank.

Vardy then slotted home a penalty at the second attempt for his 12th goal of the league campaign in the 82nd minute.

The English striker’s initial effort was saved but James Maddison’s rebound was chalked off by VAR for encroachment by both teams.

The visitors had controlled possession from the kick-off and came close to a breakthrough twice inside five minutes, with Perez hitting the crossbar before Vardy’s header forced a diving save from Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

It was only after a change of approach from manager Brendan Rodgers that Leicester were able to capitalise on the break and record a seventh win in their last eight league matches.

“We knew it would be tough,” Vardy said. “Second half we came out the blocks a bit slow but as the game went on we progressed.

“I’ve always been one to say that when you’re enjoying your football that’s when you play your best stuff. The best way to enjoy your football is to win games.”

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel enjoyed a comfortable afternoon at the other end of the pitch, although midfielder Wilfred Ndidi needed to make a brilliant block to deny Martin Montoya.

Brighton boss Graham Potter conceded his team struggled to keep up with Leicester’s blistering pace.

“We’re disappointed to lose but over the course of the game it was a fair result,” he said. “Once they are 1-0 up, they are hard to contain because they are so dangerous on the counter.

“They can attack in different ways. They can build it up or hit you on the break.”

After suffering a second straight league defeat, Brighton slipped to 12th in the table with 15 points. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Lawrence)

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