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Leicester City 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: Three first-half goals send Foxes third

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James Maddison scores his second against brighton
James Maddison was directly involved in a goal in consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time since December 2019

James Maddison scored twice as Leicester produced a relentless first-half display to beat Brighton and climb to third in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old struck twice before half-time, his second a sublime, curled finish into the top corner after he had slotted in from Jamie Vardy’s blocked shot.

Vardy, making a record-equalling 222nd Premier League appearance for the Foxes, scored his side’s second from James Justin’s low cross.

A breathless opening period had included great chances for both sides, as Mat Ryan denied Marc Albrighton inside the first five minutes and Kasper Schmeichel was equal to attempts by Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Danny Welbeck as Brighton threatened on the break.

With the points secured before the interval, Brendan Rodgers’ side comfortably saw out a much quieter second period to move one point behind Tottenham and Liverpool, after both were held to draws on Sunday.

Brighton remain 16th but are now just two points above the relegation places following Fulham’s draw against the champions.

Maddison hints at return to best in impressive win

Aware many of their expected top-four rivals had dropped points over the course of the weekend, Leicester’s motivation to take full advantage at the King Power Stadium was evident in their high-octane start.

Maddison’s first ever Premier League double and Vardy’s 10th goal of the campaign were deserved reward for a superb, free-flowing first-half display, in which the Foxes landed 13 shots at goal.

Vardy’s first opportunity came when his first-time hit from Justin’s excellent pass was saved by Ryan – and he also struck the post before making no mistake when Justin again delivered from the right.

Equalling Muzzy Izzet’s appearances tally, Vardy then teed up Maddison – whose sole England cap arrived over a year ago – for his excellent left-footed finish, which typified a performance indicative of a player nearing a return to his best.

Despite missing a number of key players to injury, defenders Caglar Soyuncu and Timothy Castagne among those still absent, Rodgers’ side continue to apply pressure at the summit in a start which has also seen them successfully juggle their Europa League commitments.

Converting their good start – reignited by this showing and Vardy’s late Bramall Lane winner last weekend that ended a four-game winless run – is a must for Leicester, after last season’s collapse which began over the Christmas period.

On this evidence, they are in good shape to do so ahead of key meetings with Everton, Tottenham and Manchester United in the next 13 days.

More to follow.

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Leicester City

  1. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  2. Squad number3Player nameFofana

  3. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  4. Squad number28Player nameFuchs

  5. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  6. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

  7. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  8. Squad number2Player nameJustin

  9. Squad number17Player nameAyoze Pérez

  10. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  11. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  1. Squad number15Player nameBarnes

  2. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  3. Squad number26Player namePraet

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number1Player nameRyan

  2. Squad number34Player nameVeltman

  3. Squad number3Player nameWhite

  4. Squad number5Player nameDunk

  5. Squad number33Player nameBurn

  6. Squad number13Player nameGroß

  7. Squad number8Player nameBissouma

  8. Squad number16Player nameJahanbakhsh

  9. Squad number9Player nameMaupay

  10. Squad number20Player nameMarch

  11. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck

  1. Squad number7Player nameConnolly

  2. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister

  3. Squad number17Player nameAlzate

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 3Fofana
  • 6EvansBooked at 78mins
  • 28FuchsBooked at 22mins
  • 11Albrighton
  • 25NdidiSubstituted forMendyat 80′minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 2Justin
  • 17PérezSubstituted forBarnesat 62′minutes
  • 10MaddisonSubstituted forPraetat 75′minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 5Morgan
  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 15Barnes
  • 19Ünder
  • 24Mendy
  • 26Praet

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 34Veltman
  • 3White
  • 5Dunk
  • 33BurnBooked at 72mins
  • 13Groß
  • 8BissoumaSubstituted forMac Allisterat 72′minutes
  • 16JahanbakhshSubstituted forAlzateat 55′minutes
  • 9Maupay
  • 20March
  • 18WelbeckSubstituted forConnollyat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Webster
  • 7Connolly
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 11Trossard
  • 17Alzate
  • 23Steele
  • 24Pröpper

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