Brighton continued their magnificent start to the new season as they came from behind to register an entertaining 5-2 win over rock-bottom Leicester City.
Brendan Rodgers’ visitors flew out of the traps and struck inside the first minute when Kelechi Iheanacho tucked home Patson Daka’s cut back from the right to immediately justify the manager’s decision to start the duo ahead of Jamie Vardy.
However, Brighton responded and levelled on 10 minutes when Luke Thomas diverted Solly March’s header into his own net.
Graham Potter’s men continued to hungrily press and force a disorganised Foxes rearguard into avoidable mistakes, leading to the hosts taking charge just five minutes later through Moises Caicedo.
Leicester’s frustration was evident when goalkeeper Danny Ward and makeshift defender Wilfried Ndidi heatedly argued over another shaky moment, but the away team stunned the Seagulls just past the half hour when Daka latched on to a long pass and coolly fired in the equaliser.
The home side thought they had restored their lead two minutes after the interval but Alexis Mac Allister’s 25-yard thunderbolt was eventually ruled out by VAR for offside in the build up.
Despite that frustration, Brighton continued to dominate and they deservedly moved back in front on 64 minutes through Leandro Trossard’s clinical low strike.
Leicester rarely offered any suggestion of a response and the hosts made sure of the points when Mac Allister did get his goal via the penalty spot 19 minutes from time. And there was even time for the Argentine star to add another, curling home a beautiful free-kick in stoppage time to make it five.
The result means Brighton remain in fourth spot, just two points off the summit while Leicester continue to languish at the foot of the table with just one point from six games played.
Next up, the Foxes host Aston Villa on Saturday while Brighton visit Bournemouth.
A five-star showing but VAR robs everyone of a goal-of-the-season contender. It’s not been a good weekend for VAR. There have been various incidents across the Premier League action that have had many a coach, player and fan bemoaning how it is being utilised.
It happened again here but thankfully it didn’t have any impact on the result. Mac Allister’s 47th minute thunderbolt was followed by a period of almost five minutes where the VAR team fumbled around drawing lines trying to decide whether it was offside or not.
The crowd booed, players looked around bemused and then the official eventually got asked to check the monitor. There has to be some sort of common sense. If it’s too hard to decide within a 30-second window, perhaps the advantage should just go to the attacking team?
Eventually this stunner from Mac Alliser was ruled out and while we should all be talking about how brilliant Brighton look and how awful Leicester are, the shadow VAR creates more often than not, leaves a sour taste. Let’s hope something is done about it moving forward.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton). It could have been any one of a number of Brighton players. On another day Mac Allister could have been celebrating a hat-trick, which would have been fitting giving the high-quality, high-energy performance he put in throughout an ultimately one-sided affair.
BRIGHTON: Sanchez 7, Veltman 8, Dunk 8, Webster 8, March 9, Mwepu 9, Mac Allister 9, Caicedo 8, Trossard 9, Gross 9, Welbeck 8. Subs: Undav n/a, Lamptey n/a, Estupinan n/a, Gilmour n/a.
LEICESTER CITY: Ward 7, Justin 6, Evans 5, Ndidi 5, Thomas 5, Tielemans 5, Soumare 5, Maddison 5, Daka 7, Barnes 5, Iheanacho 6. Subs: Castagne 6, Vardy n/a, Dewsbury-Hall n/a, Amartey n/a.
01’ – GOAL! – Brighton 0-1 Leicester. What a start for the Foxes. Tielemans, Barnes and Daka combine down the left to tee up Iheanacho for a tap-in.
10’ – GOAL! – Brighton 1-1 Leicester. March rises well at the far post to squeeze home the equaliser – via Luke Thomas – from Trossard’s delightful cross.
15’ – GOAL! – Brighton 2-1 Leicester. The hosts have turned this around pretty quickly. Maddison gives the ball away cheaply, allowing Mwepu to charge at the Foxes defence before laying it to his right for Caicedo to arrive and arrow a low strike into the far corner.
33’ – GOAL! – Brighton 2-2 Leicester. Daka races on to Tielemans’s ball over the top and steer a lovely low finish beyond Sanchez.
47’ – VAR RULES OUT BRIGHTON GOAL. Mac Allister fires an unstoppable 25-yard rocket into the top corner after the visitors had failed to deal with a left-wing free kick. The goal is then checked for an offside for almost five minutes before being chalked off. That was way too long.
64’ – GOAL! – Brighton 3-2 Leicester. Trossard spins on to Gross’ clever pass and rifles a low shot beyond Ward.
71’ – GOAL! – Brighton 4-2 Leicester. Mac Allister DOES get his goal. The midfielder steps up and fires his spot kick down the middle with Ward diving out of the way. The penalty was awarded after Ndidi chopped down Trossard.
90+7’ – GOAL! – Brighton 5-2 Leicester. Mac Allister curls a stunning free kick over the wall to cap a stunning display from the hosts.