Leicester City booed at final whistle as Danny Welbeck equaliser snatches late draw for Brighton

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Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion - King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain - January 23, 2022 Brighton & Hove Albion's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring their first goal - Leicester City booed at final whistle as Danny Welbeck equaliser snatches late draw for Brighton - ACTION IMAGES
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion - King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain - January 23, 2022 Brighton & Hove Albion's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring their first goal - Leicester City booed at final whistle as Danny Welbeck equaliser snatches late draw for Brighton - ACTION IMAGES

Graham Potter was experiencing remote management for the first time with Brighton and Hove Albion, but even when he is away, his players continue to display a propensity for late goals.

Danny Welbeck’s equaliser was the eighth time Brighton had scored in the final 10 minutes of a Premier League match this season, as Leicester’s defensive weaknesses surfaced again. Potter was absent after testing positive for coronavirus, but would have been jumping around his living room after substitute Welbeck’s 82nd-minute header finally rewarded Brighton’s pressure. Leicester were back at the scene of Wednesday’s astonishing defeat by Tottenham, when they conceded two goals in 80 seconds deep into added time, and this was another frustrating day for Brendan Rodgers, whose team were booed off.

Rodgers described the Spurs defeat as an experience of the “university of adversity” for his squad, which was missing nine players through injury. Here was more late drama for the home team. Brighton have lost just one of their 11 away games in the league this season.

“Graham had a direct feed of the game at his house and felt well enough to be a part of it,” Bjorn Hamberg, one of Potter’s assistants who was in charge at the ground, said. “He was always in touch with the coaches and if he wanted to change anything, I knew about it within 10 seconds. He certainly played his part, he’s a top manager.

“It was another comeback for us. Even when we go a goal behind, we keep working for each other and never give up. We never feel sorry for ourselves, and you have to survive those moments.”

 Patson Daka of Leicester City celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at King Power Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Leicester, England - GETTY IMAGES
Patson Daka of Leicester City celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at King Power Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Leicester, England - GETTY IMAGES

Brighton were typically well organised and confident in possession. There are few teams in the Premier League who appear so comfortable passing their way out from the back, though the accusations over a lack of ruthlessness at the other end will never go away.

In a first half of few opportunities, Leicester’s influential James Maddison struck a free-kick into the side netting, while Ademola Lookman was denied from close range by Robert Sanchez.

Leicester’s injury problems remain a major issue, with Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana and Ricardo Pereira among those out, while Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are away with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Yet they did not appear to be struggling with any hangover after the Tottenham debacle. The returning James Justin was outstanding, and Leicester were ahead just 28 seconds into the second half. Harvey Barnes’s shot was saved by Sanchez, but striker Patson Daka swept the loose ball home from five yards. As Brighton responded, Alexis Mac Allister lifted the ball over from an unmarked position, and Hamberg introduced Tariq Lamptey and Welbeck to give the visitors more of a cutting edge.

The substitutes combined 13 minutes from time, with Welbeck heading Lamptey’s cross straight at Kasper Schmeichel. But Welbeck provided the crucial contribution in the 82nd minute, rising above Justin to power Neal Maupay’s cross in off a post. Brighton were in control in the final stages as Leicester’s defence appeared increasingly vulnerable.

Dan Burn, the defender, had a header cleared off the line by Youri Tielemans and Schmeichel produced a brilliant one-handed save to deny Leandro Trossard.

They could not find a winner, but the boos at the final whistle underlined how frustration is growing over Leicester’s inconsistent season.

“It was a fair result, and we lost the ball too easily, which led to their goal,” Rodgers said.

“Technically, we didn’t play well enough in that period, and that’s not something I’m used to seeing in my team.

“I have to commend the players for going until the very end against a team who have had some very good results this season.

“It’s been a challenging season for us in so many ways. When you have the number of players out that we have, it brings a different dynamic to the team.”

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