Danny Welbeck earns point for draw specialists Brighton at Leicester

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<span>Photograph: Ryan Browne/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Ryan Browne/Shutterstock

If Brighton could just play all their games from the 80th minute, then Manchester City might have more serious competition for the Premier League title. Danny Welbeck’s latest deserved equaliser earned Graham Potter’s team their 12th draw of the season as Leicester City again fell away in the latter stages.

With Potter watching on remotely from his Covid-enforced isolation, Brighton could once again be proud of their strong finish as they extended their unbeaten run to six games since Christmas. Going behind to the prolific Patson Daka, Brighton came back to score for the eighth time in the last 10 minutes of matches, a statistic to which only the Premier League leaders can hold a candle.

If this was not quite the nightmare Leicester suffered on Wednesday, when Tottenham came from 2-1 behind in the 95th minute to win 3-2, then it was another instance of how stretched they are.

Leicester still had nine players missing but had looked more defensively secure for the returns of James Justin, for his first game in 347 days after his serious knee injury, and Daniel Amartey, back from the Africa Cup of Nations.

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To be fair — and forgive us if you have heard this one before — Brighton’s finishing potency did not match their fine approach play for the first 80 minutes.

This was their fourth draw in six matches, albeit including a pair of 1-1s with Chelsea, but while the visiting side displayed some admirable dexterity in their passing through the thirds they had so little to show for it until they went behind.

They only had Neil Maupay’s mishit attempted scissor-kick and Alexis Mac Allister’s shot, clearing the crossbar by some distance, in a quiet first half. All hot air and no end product, as one regular sage summarised.

Most of Leicester’s best moments flowed through James Maddison again. Their No10, tripped by his opposite number, curled the ensuing free-kick into the side-netting; 10 minutes before half-time, he dispossessed Mac Allister and when the recalled Harvey Barnes slipped the ball wide, Ademola Lookman should have scored but Robert Sánchez was allowed to save his shot.

The volume on the PA system seemed to be pumped up as the players came out for the second half and within 28 seconds of the Posthorn Gallop inspiring the home team, Leicester had the lead.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall won a header to set Maddison running at the Brighton defence and, after he slipped the ball into the feet of Lookman, the attacking midfielder kept running to take a return.

Maddison’s mishit shot deflected off Dan Burn for Barnes and although Sánchez saved the winger’s scuffed effort, the ball fell neatly for Daka to shoot in from the left edge of the six-yard box. It was the Zambian’s eighth goal involvement in his past eight Premier League games.

Mac Allister again skied a shot high over the bar as Brighton rallied. Billy Reid, Potter’s assistant taking charge for the day, attempted to get their side playing higher up the field by switching to three at the back, introducing Tariq Lamptey at right wing-back, and Welbeck alongside Maupay up front, with Leandro Trossard just behind.

Rodgers responded promptly by introducing Marc Albrighton to play right wing-back, with Justin moving inside as a third centre-back.

Instead of protecting the lead, this served to invite Brighton on and Lamptey made a big difference, with his pace and invention. From his cross 17 minutes from time, Welbeck’s deft header required an excellent save down at his near post from Kasper Schmeichel.

So it was no surprise when Welbeck did head home, at the far post from Maupay’s right-wing centre, eight minutes from time and Leicester, lilting, looked there for the taking. Youri Tielemans headed off the line from Burn’s towering header and Trossard ran through on to substitute Solly March’s superb pass only for Schmeichel to again save brilliantly, this time low to his right.

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