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Dublin: 3°C Friday 26 February 2021
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Connolly earns penalty, but Schmeichel save denies Brighton

Both sides added a point to consolidate their positions.

Connolly and Justin tangle ahead of the early penalty.
Connolly and Justin tangle ahead of the early penalty.
Image: Andrew Boyers/NMC Pool/PA Wire

KASPER SCHMEICHEL SAVED an early penalty from Neal Maupay as Leicester City and Brighton played out a drab stalemate at the King Power Stadium this evening.

The Seagulls had a golden opportunity to take a vital lead as Ireland’s Aaron Connolly raced through on goal only to be brought down by James Justin.

A long Var check followed Lee Mason’s decision to point to the spot, but Maupay’s effort was poor and Schmeichel kept his sheet clean.

Brighton sit six points above the relegation zone, while Leicester’s point at home takes them nine clear of fifth-place Manchester United.

Leicester were held to a 1-1 draw at Watford in their first game back from the coronavirus hiatus on Saturday, with Ben Chilwell’s 90th minute strike cancelled out by Craig Dawson’s stoppage-time equaliser for the hosts.

The only drama came early this time,  20-year-old Connolly unlocking the Leicester defence in the 14th minute.

Racing onto Aaron Mooy’s long pass, Connolly muscled his way ahead of Justin, who responded to the threat by clipping the forward in the penalty area.

 Schmeichel came to Leicester’s rescue as he dived to his right to save Maupay’s strike. It was a miss that might have drawn a few smiles from the Arsenal players Maupay accused of lacking “humility” after a stormy clash that saw the forward accused of deliberately injuring Gunners keeper Bernd Leno.

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Connolly caused more problems for the Leicester defence with a nimble turn and shot that forced a last-ditch block from Caglar Soyuncu.

Brighton keeper Mat Ryan nearly gifted Leicester a goal when he threw the ball behind him by mistake as he attempted a roll out, only avoiding huge embarrassment by scrambling to save at Jamie Vardy’s feet.

Soyuncu headed wide from close-range after Wilfred Ndidi’s shot deflected into his path.

On a hot summer evening, neither team could establish much rhythm and the lack of intensity that has been so noticable since the Premier League returned made for another tepid encounter.

Leicester were dominating possession but their top scorer Vardy was held in check as he chased his 100th Premier League goal.

Vardy did have a penalty shout in stoppage-time when his header struck Lewis Dunk’s arm, but Leicester’s appeals were in vain.

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