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Sport: Welbeck's header earns Brighton draw at Leicester

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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.

Danny Welbeck celebrates after equalising for Brighton at Leicester © PA Danny Welbeck celebrates after equalising for Brighton at Leicester

After a slow start for Brighton, with boss Graham Potter absent from the touchline due to a positive coronavirus test, positive substitutions saw them come on strongly in the closing stages and they had two glorious opportunities to snatch all three points.

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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.

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.

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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."

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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."

Hamberg: Players deserve all the credit

Brighton coach Bjorn Hamberg: "It has not been normal. Obviously with Graham going down you know we have to prep a little bit differently. Then Billy [Reid, assistant manager] picks it up the next day!

"Over the last couple of years you don't know what will happen next. You need to be ready for everything.

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"It comes down to the players. Because they get on with it normally and do what they always do. It's not been a big deal. Obviously, we missed Graham and Billy but the players executed everything they were supposed to do.

"Before we left we had a zoom call with the players at the hotel. He's been speaking with us throughout the game, at half-time and after the game.

"The credit goes to the players."

Analysis: Super subs save Brighton

This was not the Brighton side we are used to seeing for much of the first hour at the King Power Stadium.

They gave the ball away too easily, were pushed back by Leicester, and generally were second best. There could be few complaints when Daka put the hosts into the lead.

First-team coach Hamberg admitted after the game they were not up to their usual standards before the break.

After 62 minutes, the two players dropped from the side which drew 1-1 with Chelsea came on. Welbeck and Lamptey changed the game completely.

Lamptey was a real threat down the right and gave the young Luke Thomas a torrid time. He constantly beat him for pace, and his trickery tied the full-back in knots. The quality of his delivery was high-class too.

For Welbeck, his third goal of the season was just reward for his impact.

The 31-year-old gave Brighton more of a focal point and had already seen Schmeichel keep out one header when he drew them level.

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Albion's fight was there for all to see again, as was their strength in depth, referenced after the game by Hamberg. They will surely continue to look at home in the Premier League as long as they are able to bring quality players like Lamptey and Welbeck off the bench.

Given Leicester's troubles with injury and players away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Brendan Rodgers must have been looking on enviously.

Brighton's steel on the road - the stats

Brighton have only lost one of their 11 away games in the Premier League (W3 D7), a joint-low alongside Manchester City.

Their seven away draws is the most by a team in their first 11 games on the road in a Premier League campaign since Everton in 2015-16 (also seven).

Patson Daka became only the second player to score in each of his first three home starts for Leicester in the Premier League, after Leonardo Ulloa in the 2014-15 season.

The Foxes opener after 45 minutes and 26 seconds was the quickest goal scored in the second half of a Premier League game since February 2020, when Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted at 45:24 against Everton.

What's next?

Leicester's next fixture is in the FA Cup in two weeks' time when they will face East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest on Sunday February 6. Brighton are also still in the cup and travel to Tottenham for an 8pm kick-off the day before.

Ademola Lookman squanders the best chance of the first half © PA Ademola Lookman squanders the best chance of the first half

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