Premier League
LeicesterLeicester City2BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion0

Leicester City 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

By Luke ReddyBBC Sport
Shinji Okazaki scores for Leicester against Brighton
Shinji Okazaki made it two goals in two games, converting from close range inside a minute

Harry Maguire scored his first Leicester goal as the Foxes eased to a first win of the season against a timid Brighton side in a scrappy affair at King Power Stadium.

The hosts led inside a minute when Shinji Okazaki tapped in after new Seagulls goalkeeper Mathew Ryan spilled a low effort from the impressive Riyad Mahrez.

Brighton's Glenn Murray had a goal disallowed for offside before the break but, in truth, the newly promoted side offered little threat as they fell to a second successive defeat in the top tier.

Maguire - who saw more of the ball than any Leicester player - rose at the back post to head in a Mahrez corner after the break, effectively ending the contest and ensuring the Foxes responded from last week's 4-3 defeat at Arsenal.

Craig Shakespeare's side produced an efficient display without ever seeming to build relentless pressure, but their day was soured a little in injury time when Jamie Vardy was forced to hobble off after contesting a 50-50 ball with Ryan.

Maguire shines as Foxes cruise

Shinji Okazaki celebrates scoring for Leicester against Brighton
Okazaki's strike was the first goal in the first minute of a Premier League game this season

Vardy proved a willing runner throughout and had a fine chance of his own in the opening period but failed to make a solid connection after Okazaki had pulled the ball back to him about 10 yards out.

Okazaki looked lively early on, dropping in behind Vardy with both sides playing 4-4-1-1, and he found himself perfectly placed when Ryan failed to hold a Mahrez strike which was straight at him.

It was the first goal scored inside a minute of the Premier League season and summed up why Leicester fans will hope interest in Mahrez from Roma cools as he drifted past defenders graciously in the build-up.

It gave Leicester the platform to play safe football against a Brighton side who never looked capable of taking the risks to open them up and Maguire's goal summed up the simplicity of the victory as he out-jumped Shane Duffy to nod in.

The summer signing from Hull City seemed comfortable alongside central defensive partner Wes Morgan and already looks like astute business at £17m.

Immediate thoughts will focus on the fitness of Vardy, though Shakespeare played down any worry over the ankle injury afterwards.

Vardy's energy remains critical to Shakespeare's side, who will surely believe they can offer more than they did in this scrappy showing, where they saw less of the ball and were less accurate with it than the visitors.

Will Brighton find their feet?

Harry Maguire scores for Leicester against Brighton
Harry Maguire's header effectively ended the contest

Chris Hughton's side had 55% of possession and completed 83% of their passes compared to 78% achieved by their hosts. However, their cutting edge was minimal and they managed just two shots on target.

Substitute Tomer Hemed went closest, forcing a diving save from Kasper Schmeichel from 25 yards. The Israeli replaced Glenn Murray, who finished smartly in the first half only to be correctly ruled offside.

There will be moments Hughton can cling to. His side had a shout for a penalty when Morgan used a combination of chest and arm to block from Jamie Murphy before the break and they also looked solid in their shape without the ball.

But they seemed to lack the ability to turn that disciplined structure into any form of attacking force and the former Newcastle boss will surely know this defeat is another lesson on the way to finding what is needed at the top level.

Mistakes such as Ryan's at such key moments cannot happen - though there is much to look forward to, not least the debut of record signing Jose Izquierdo, who joined in midweek.

Hughton has broken the club's transfer record three times this summer and brought in players from leagues across Europe. His side looked like a unit yet to gel but they will have easier fixtures than a visit from Manchester City and a trip to the 2015-16 champions.

Man of the match - Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez and Shinji Okazaki
Riyad Mahrez (right) ultimately created both goals and his first assist was easy on the eye as he drifted past players to shoot at goal. He fully occupied Brighton throughout and, in a game littered with loose passes and scrappy play, he always looked like being the player who would make key contributions.

'Professional performance' - manager talk

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare: "When you get a start like that it's very pleasing. It was hard to break them down today but it was a professional performance to the end.

"It didn't feel as comfortable as the stats suggest. We learned cruelly about game management last week [in the 4-3 defeat by Arsenal], but to get the first win under the belt was the main thing."

Leicester 2-0 Brighton: Professional Foxes win pleases Craig Shakespeare

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton: "We didn't help ourselves and the timing of both goals was very detrimental to our style of play.

"We've got to keep possession, we need to get into shape but we had ample opportunity over the 90 minutes to do better. They aren't a side who really opened us up, but where they needed to be sharper and keep possession they did. That's what we need to learn.

"We'll look to add to the squad. We'll work as hard as we can through to the end of window to make this team and squad as good as we can."

Leicester 2-0 Brighton: Hughton rues 'detrimental timing' of Leicester goals

Worrying Brighton form? - Key stats

  • Brighton have failed to score in four of their last five league games, netting only one goal in that time (v Aston Villa in May).
  • Okazaki has scored in consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time ever, with both of his goals coming within the first five minutes of games.
  • Riyad Mahrez has assisted in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since February 2016.
  • Harry Maguire has netted three goals in his last eight Premier League games, after none in his 26 before that.
  • The Seagulls are without a win in five league games (D1 L4), their worst run since January 2016 (7 games).

Up next?

After a League Cup trip to Sheffield United in midweek Leicester will travel to top-of-the-table Manchester United for next Saturday's late kick-off. Brighton host Barnet in the EFL Cup on Tuesday and take on Watford at Vicarage Road next Saturday.

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2Simpson
  • 5MorganBooked at 50mins
  • 15Maguire
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26Mahrez
  • 25Ndidi
  • 22James
  • 11Albrighton
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forSlimaniat 76'minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forGrayat 90+3'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Chilwell
  • 7Gray
  • 10King
  • 12Hamer
  • 18Amartey
  • 19Slimani
  • 23Ulloa

Brighton

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Ryan
  • 2Bruno
  • 22Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 29Suttner
  • 20March
  • 6Stephens
  • 24Pröpper
  • 15Murphy
  • 13GroßSubstituted forKnockaertat 62'minutes
  • 17MurraySubstituted forHemedat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bong
  • 4Hünemeier
  • 8Skalak
  • 10Hemed
  • 11Knockaert
  • 12Mäenpää
  • 23Rosenior
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
31,902

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home14
Away5
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Lewis Dunk tries a through ball, but Tomer Hemed is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Jamie Vardy because of an injury.

  6. Post update

    .

  7. Post update

    Delay in match Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Mat Ryan.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  10. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  11. Post update

    Delay in match Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) because of an injury.

  12. Post update

    Jamie Murphy (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  15. Post update

    Wes Morgan (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Murphy.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Islam Slimani replaces Shinji Okazaki.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).

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