Match Review – Brighton 0-2 Leicester City

leicesterhomereview2018

Easter time is all about scapegoating a poor bloke who hasn’t done much wrong. Around 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem, it was Jesus of Nazareth who found himself nailed to a cross. Fast forward to 2018 in Brighton and Hove and it’s Glenn Murray who has had all the ills of at least the Brighton and Hove Albion world laid at his feet.

The way some Albion supporters have carried on in the aftermath of the 2-0 defeat to Leicester City, you’d think they should be erecting a brand new cross next to the Clock Tower and crucifying Murray. Yes, the bloke missed a penalty and really should have scored a one-on-one in the first half from which he completely missed the target. But he has 11 goals so far this season in a pretty goal shy team and without those, we’d be a lot closer to the already doomed West Bromwich Albion than we are.

The penalty was a poor one but Murray has never actually been that good from 12 yards. Pre-Amex supporters will remember when between him, Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes, Elliott Bennett and Gary Dicker, we contrived to miss a remarkable eight penalties in the 2010/11 season. It was so bad that Gus Poyet took to hiding behind the dug out whenever a spot kick was awarded. It was also a decent safe from Kasper Schmeichel who was the oustanding player on the pitch for both sides over the course of the 90 minutes.

Murray wasn’t the only one guilty of missing either. Had we have managed to convert even a fifth of the 15 shots that were created, then we’d have won the game. The guilty parties included Pascal Gross and Solly March who were both denied by Schmeichel, Jurgen Locadia on two first half occasions, Jose Izquierdo who’s greed when attempting to cut inside let him down and then Gaetan Bong with the worst of the lot as he somehow contrived to miss an open goal from a matter of yards.

In the Championship, the Albion could get away with missing so many chances as the opposition rarely had the quality to punish those misses. Not so Leicester. Why so many Albion fans seemed to expect three points against a side still featuring so many of the players who won the Premier League two seasons ago is an absolute mystery, but punish the Foxes did through Vicente Iborra’s header – another goal conceded from a cross – and Jamie Vardy’s 96th minute second for the visitors.

Chris Hughton came out afterwards and said we didn’t deserve to lose and he was spot on. He was also spot on with the way he set the Albion out to play, not over committing in order to avoid being hit on the break by opponents famed for their ability to play on the counter attack. The only thing that let him and us down was our finishing.

That’s something that needs to be addressed ahead of the next two games, which now look even more pivotal than they already did. Huddersfield Town at home and Crystal Palace away are the last two games we will play against sides below us in the table. That means that, given our poor record away from home and the opponents we still have to play at home, they represent our two last realistic opportunities for three points this season.

Jesus was resurrected after being crucified. A couple of Murray goals – or goals from anyone – against the Terriers next week and the Albion’s season will do the same.

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One Response to “Match Review – Brighton 0-2 Leicester City”

  1. Spot on, a team is only as good as the eleven men that are playing at any one given time. I believe that we have the quality when we play as a team, this has been proven this season against a number of teams. The improvement since the new year has been there for all to see, it is so often the bounce of the ball that goes in favour of the opposition more frequently that causes the game to slip from our grasp. I would however like to see our players pass the ball with greater accuracy and be much more slicker when doing so as it improves the momentum of the game.

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