Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Leicester City 1 match report: Frustrated Nigel Pearson laments late Kazenga LuaLua leveller

 

The Amex Stadium

Too many draws have bedevilled Brighton's campaign for a play-off place for most of this season, but yesterday's will feel like a victory after a late goal salvaged a point they hardly deserved.

Leicester were two minutes from a first win in eight games when Brighton levelled through Kazenga LuaLua – a player given his debut by the Leicester manager, Nigel Pearson, when he was caretaker manager of Newcastle United in 2008.

It was a game full of the tensions to be expected between two teams vying for one place in the play-offs. Brighton had knocked Leicester out of the top six over Easter and will be relieved to remain two points ahead of their visitors, while Pearson was frustrated to have the chance to leapfrog Brighton again snatched away so late in the game.

"I think we were the better side," he said. "Brighton will be happier with the point. We've still got to play teams around us. We've got a great opportunity to do it. We've got five games left and it's in our own hands."

Gus Poyet, the Brighton manager, felt that his side had stayed in the game and done well to hold their own against a better-resourced team. "They have power, pace and technical ability and are very difficult to play against," he said. "It was a test that shows if you play against that sort of power you have to be at your best and we were not."

The opening half-hour was like a game of chess minus the thrills, Leicester so reluctant to give anything away that they even had Andy King man-marking Brighton's holding midfield player, Liam Bridcutt. But then Brighton went close twice, Danny Drinkwater kicking Inigo Calderon's header off the line and Bridcutt's 22-yarder was tipped over the crossbar by Kasper Schmeichel.

But as Brighton's anxieties began to show, Leicester sensed that it might be their day and raised their game. Tomasz Kuszczak made excellent saves from King and Jeff Schlupp after defensive lapses, then kept out the same duo after the interval before Leicester deservedly went in front after 73 minutes.

Liam Moore's long throw-in from the right seemed to take Matthew Upson by surprise, the ball rebounding off the former England defender for Matty James to power home from eight yards.

That looked good enough to be the winner until LuaLua cut inside the Leicester substitute Ritchie De Laet after 88 minutes and beat Schmeichel at his near post with a stinging shot to give Albion a share of the points.

Brighton and Hove Albion (4-1-2-3): Kuszczak; Calderon, Greer, Upson, Bridge; Bridcutt; David Lopez (Vicente, 55), Hammond; Buckley (LuaLua, 11), Ulloa, Orlandi (Barker, 79).

Leicester City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Moore, Morgan, Keane, Konchesky; Drinkwater, James; Marshall (De Laet, 62), King, Nugent (Kane, 74); Schlupp (Wood, 74).

Referee: Jon Moss.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before