June 24, 2020 / 7:48 AM / 13 days ago

Schmeichel spares lacklustre Leicester's blushes in draw with Brighton

LEICESTER, England (Reuters) - Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s first-half penalty save denied Brighton & Hove Albion a second win on the trot as the two teams played out an insipid 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion - King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain - June 23, 2020 Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel, Brighton & Hove Albion's Aaron Connolly and Leicester City's James Justin look toward the matchball, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS / Andrew Boyers / Pool

Visitors Brighton, who beat Arsenal on Saturday, had the opportunity to take the lead after James Justin fouled Aaron Connolly in the box but Schmeichel guessed correctly and dived smartly to his right to deny Neal Maupay from the penalty spot.

Graham Potter named Brighton’s youngest ever starting lineup in a Premier League game and managed to restrict Leicester to just two shots on target despite the home side dominating possession.

“We had to battle, I thought in the first half we were really good, carried a threat and reduced a good side to not too much,” Potter told BBC.

“We defended as a team but I’m proud of the performance, endeavour and work rate to keep a clean sheet.”

Leicester, who are targeting a return to the Champions League, are yet to claim all three points since the league’s restart last week having been held to a 1-1 draw at Watford over the weekend.

In a game bereft of clear goal scoring chances, defender Caglar Soyuncu nearly gave Leicester the lead in first half stoppage time but saw his header at the far post drift inches wide.

Leicester appealed for a penalty when a cross in second-half stoppage time hit Lewis Dunk’s flailing arm but referee Lee Mason waved it away, a decision upheld by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

“I don’t think we were very good in the first half. We got into some good positions but didn’t have enough movement in front of the ball,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports.

“It felt like it was coming but we didn’t quite make the final pass. Clean sheet, and for fitness it was really good. We’ll take a point... We certainly don’t have a rhythm yet but we have an outstanding mentality.”

The result was 15th-placed Brighton’s fourth consecutive away draw and pushed them six points clear of the relegation zone while Leicester remain in third place, four points clear of Chelsea in fourth.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar

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