Leicester City 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion | Championship match report
Seven matches ago, when Leicester's defeat at Wolves meant they had lost their first three away games of the season, the manager Nigel Pearson was widely believed to be on the brink of the sack. Andy King's early goal on Tuesday in a match far more one-sided than the scoreline suggests means their record since that Molineux defeat reads six wins, one draw, and leaves the Foxes on top of the Championship table.
"I don't think we had quite the energy levels we've had for most of the season but we managed the game well," said Pearson, who saw City's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel save an Ashley Barnes penalty early in the second half.
"We're set up a lot more attack-minded than last season but that's because of the players we have. There's been no change in philosophy – we've worked hard to get to the top."
Schmeichel, having politely laughed off being linked with Real Madrid in recent days, was keener to pass credit on to his team-mates. "It's a good set-up here now, everybody works very hard, the [Thai] owners are very supportive and it's a good place to be," he said.
Brighton, in contrast, have faltered after beginning the season strongly and a return of one point from their last three home games had led to Gus Poyet's team slipping out of the play-off places. The Uruguyan has claimed his team is not doing much wrong other than not getting the rub of the green but they were comfortably second-best on Tuesday night, for all that Poyet maintained they had again been unlucky.
"I've been saying the same for the last four or five weeks: it doesn't matter how well you play, it's about scoring goals and I'm getting bored listening to myself," he said. "You can be positive and say they celebrated like they won the league because they beat us 1-0, but it doesn't matter.
"The trouble with footballers these days is that if you don't tell them what to do they don't do it. We're creating machines. It's quite embarrassing and I don't like it."
Brighton looked anything but secure when Leicester put them under early pressure and the Foxes went ahead when David Nugent cut in off the left wing and found the Seagulls' defence in retreat. An unselfish pass gave King even more space inside the Brighton penalty area and, though his first shot was blocked, the rebound fell kindly for the midfielder to side-foot past an exposed Tomasz Kuszczak.
Martyn Waghorn should have gone a long way towards making the points safe soon afterwards. The full-back Ritchie De Laet followed his overlapping run down the right with a cross into the six-yard box that Waghorn, having escaped his marker and with only Kuszczak to beat, turned over the bar.
Anthony Knockaert, a bright, busy midfielder bought from French side Guingamp during the summer, has been one of the most important influences in City's improved form in the last month, and he drew a good save from the goalkeeper with a powerful drive from outside the penalty area.
Kuszczak had to save again from Nugent shortly after the re-start but Brighton should have levelled when the City defender Zak Whitbread bundled Will Buckley over as he pushed the ball past the American in the penalty area.
Assistant rather than referee called the foul but Schmeichel assuaged City's sense of injustice by diving to his left to block Barnes' spot-kick and the Brighton player volleyed the bouncing rebound over the bar.
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