Shinji Okazaki and Harry Maguire fire Leicester to first win as new boys Brighton continue wait for theirs

Leicester 2 Brighton 0: The mercurial skills of Riyad Mahrez proved their undoing on both occasions as, firstly, Shinji Okazaki and then Harry Maguire benefited with close-range goals

Nick Lucy
King Power Stadium
Saturday 19 August 2017 17:04
Leicester secured their first win of the season
Leicester secured their first win of the season

It's early days of course, but Brighton are quickly discovering just what an enormous gulf there is between Championship football and the Premier League.

After the toughest of baptisms when they took on the might of Manchester City, Chris Hughton’s side were taught another harsh lesson by the 2016 champions.

Leicester City took only 52 seconds to break down Brighton’s resistance and the only real surprise was the home side had only one more goal to show for their efforts.

The mercurial skills of Riyad Mahrez proved their undoing on both occasions as, firstly, Shinji Okazaki and then Harry Maguire benefited with close-range goals.

In truth, Craig Shakespeare’s side should have added more, but they will be satisfied with their first win after being on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller at Arsenal.

While Shakespeare will hope he can hold onto Mahrez beyond the transfer deadline, Hughton can only wish he had someone with the Algerian’s ability in his squad.

The game was still in its first minute when Mahrez embarked upon one of his characteristic runs into the box from the right-hand side and when Mat Ryan could not hold onto his low shot, Okazaki reacted quicker than his marker to apply the finishing touch from close range.

Okazaki opened the scoring after only a minute 

Clearly intent on pressing home their early advantage, Shakespeare’s side then had a golden opportunity to gain the relative comfort of a two-goal cushion.

Brighton had only themselves to blame as Markus Suttner was caught in possession, which the ever-alert Okazaki pounced upon, teeing up his strike partner Vardy, who had two bites of the cherry, but could not make clean enough contact in each instance to beat Ryan.

After Leicester had dominated the first quarter of the game, there was at least some encouragement for Hughton as Glenn Murray was ruled offside as he tucked away an angled shot and then they had appeals for a penalty waved away by Lee Probert after a fiercely-struck shot from Jamie Murphy appeared to hit Morgan on the arm as he charged it down.

It was the Japanese's second goal of the season 

Okazaki was only inches away from getting his second just before the break when Vardy whipped in a low cross from the right and the Japanese international got his outstretched left foot to it, but watched in anguish as it flew the wrong side of the near post.

Brighton could take some heart from the fact that the deficit was only one goal at the halfway point, but the second half failed to raise hopes of dramatic turnaround.

It wasn’t long indeed before City gained further breathing space when Maguire met Mahrez’s corner with a towering header which gave Ryan no chance whatsoever.

Solly March gave Brighton a glimmer of hope with a delightful cross from the right that sat up perfectly for Glenn Murray, but he mis-hit his close-range attempt.

Maguire made the points safe (Getty)

It was hardly surprising Hughton opted to make a change on the hour and former Leicester winger Anthony Knockaert was given a rousing reception on his introduction.

But although Brighton showed plenty of endeavour in the closing stages, they rarely threatened to claw their way back into the contest and the only worry for Leicester was that Vardy limped off with a foot injury shortly before the final whistle.

LEICESTER CITY (4-4-2): K Schmeichel 6; D Simpson 6, W Morgan 7, H Maguire 6, C Fuchs 6; R Mahrez 8, M James 7, W Ndidi 6, M Albrighton 7; S Okazaki 7 (Sub I Slimani 75 mins); J Vardy 6.

Subs: B Chilwell, D Gray, A King, B Hamer, D Amartey, L Ulloa.

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (4-4-1-1): M Ryan 5; Bruno 6, L Dunk 7, S Duffy 6, M Suttner 5; S March 6, D Propper 5, D Stephens 6, J Murphy 7; P Grob 6 (Sub A Knockaert 62 mins 6); G Murray 6 (Sub T Hemed 66 mins 5).

Subs: G Bong, U Hunemeier, J Skalak, N Maenpaa, L Rosenior.

Referee: L Probert 7

Attendance: 31,902

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