Danny Welbeck’s powerful late header cancelled out Patson Daka’s opener as Leicester and Brighton shared the spoils at the King Power Stadium.
The striker found the bottom corner with eight minutes remaining as the Seagulls continued their trend of late goals on the road – and they had the best chances to win it too.
First-team coach Bjorn Hamberg was in charge on the day and he was full of praise for the Seagulls players after an unusual build-up with boss Graham Potter and his assistant Billy Reid both being forced into isolation.
Hamberg said: “Obviously, we missed Graham and Billy but the players executed everything they were supposed to do. The credit goes to the players.”
After a slow start for Brighton positive substitutions saw them come on strongly in the closing stages and they had two glorious opportunities to snatch all three points.
Dan Burn saw his header cleared off the line by Youri Tielemans and 60 seconds later Kasper Schmeichel produced a wonderful save diving to his right to push a powerful Leandro Trossard drive past the post.
The Foxes had the better of the first half with James Maddison and Ademola Lookman both seeing efforts saved by the feet of Robert Sanchez when played through on goal.
Leicester: Schmeichel 8, Justin 7, Amartey 6, Soyuncu 6, Thomas 5, Tielemans 6, Dewsbury-Hall 6, Maddison 6, Barnes 6, Daka 7, Lookman 6
Subs: Albrighton 6, Soumare 6, Perez N/A
Brighton: Sanchez 8, Veltman 6, Webster 6, Burn 6, Cucurella 6, Alzate 6, Moder 7, Mac Allister 6, Gross 7, Trossard 7, Maupay 6
Subs: Welbeck 8, Lamptey 8, March 6
Man of the match: Welbeck
They looked buoyed by the return of Daniel Amartey from international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations and James Justin making his first start in 11 months.
They took the lead they deserved when Daka was on hand to smash the ball home after Sanchez kept out Harvey Barnes’ toe-poke.
But they were not able to hold on and the point means Brighton stay ninth on 30 points, while Leicester move up to 10th and are four points behind them with a game in hand.
Man of the match – Danny Welbeck
He may only have played for 28 minutes but Welbeck changed the course of this game and ensured Brighton kept up their impressive form away from home.
Welbeck’s movement cause the back five of Leicester headaches and he was always looking to get on the end of balls into the box.
Neal Maupay might be the Seagull’s main striker, but Welbeck is the ideal back-up. With his contract up in the summer, coach Hamberg reiterated how much they want him to stay.
“As long as I am a part of this club I would love to have Danny around,” he said.
“He has put in so much off the pitch as well. He is a great guy, one of them that looks after other people, that try to push every day.
“And of course we are so happy to have him here.”
Rodgers: It was a fair result
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: “[It was a] fair result, we forced their ‘keeper into great saves and we weren’t in trouble too much. We get the goal early in the second half and then we didn’t keep the ball well enough, we couldn’t keep possession.
“They can bring pressure on to you and that led to their goal, while Kasper made a couple of great saves.
“It was a natural reaction. The other team gain an edge. Technically we didn’t play well enough in that period, instead of passing, we were getting rid of it, not something I’m used to seeing.”
On James Justin’s return: “He was excellent! When you see him in that first half, see what we’ve missed, one-to-one defending, the power he brings.
“Second half he had to go into the back three and so he worked very hard and he’ll have gained plenty.”