By James Kilpatrick
Leicester 2-1 Brighton: Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy seal win as Brendan Rodgers watches on
Report and highlights as Leicester win in first game after Claude Puel's sacking
Last Updated: 27/02/19 6:27am
New manager Brendan Rodgers watched from the stands as Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy scored to seal Leicester a 2-1 win over Brighton in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Rodgers received a warm welcome from the Leicester support as he took his seat at the King Power Stadium - just an hour after he was officially announced as the new Leicester boss - and Gray gave the hosts the initiative with a tidy finish in the 10th minute.
Vardy doubled Leicester's lead in the 63rd minute with a driven strike from close range, moments before Davy Propper pulled a goal back for the visitors (66).
Although Brighton attempted to rally back late on, with a Glenn Murray half-volley hitting the side netting, Leicester held on to their narrow lead to move up to 11th.
Leicester: : Schmeichel (7), Pereira (6), Evans (6), Maguire (7), Chilwell (6), Tielemans (7), Ndidi (6), Barnes (*), Maddison (7), Gray (7), Vardy (7)
Subs: Mendy (6), Okazaki (N/A), Iheanacho (N/A)
Brighton: Ryan (6), Montoya (6), Duffy (6), Dunk (6), Bong (5), Stephens (6), March (5), Propper (6), Gross (6), Knockaert (5), Murray (5)
Subs: Bissouma (6), Locadia (5), Izquierdo (N/A)
Man of the match: Harvey Barnes
Brighton's wait for their first Premier League win in 2019 continues as they remain in 16th - three points above the relegation zone on 27 points.
Leicester started the game brightly with Gray getting his fourth Premier League goal of the season in the 10th minute. Anthony Knockaert sloppily gave the ball away to Harvey Barnes before he laid it off to Youri Tielemans to slip in the unmarked Gray, who calmly slotted the ball past Matt Ryan.
Three minutes later and Gray was denied a second after his powerful shot from close range was parried away by Ryan. Brighton grew as the half progressed and they nearly equalised in the 36th minute when Knockaert struck a powerful effort on goal from inside the box, but Schmeichel expertly turned the Frenchman's shot around his right post.
Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray replace Christian Fuchs and Rachid Ghezzal.
Anthony Knockaert took the the place of Jurgen Locadia and faced his former club.
In the 48th minute, Murray squandered a glorious opportunity to level for Brighton when Pascal Gross smartly backheeled the ball to the 35-year-old with the goal gaping, but he struck his first-time effort high and wide.
Shortly after the hour-mark Vardy doubled Leicester's lead. Ricardo Pereira drilled a pass into James Maddison before he poked the ball through to the England international who drilled his shot home.
Moments after Shane Duffy's header from a corner skewed wide, Brighton got a consolation as Propper latched onto Dale Stephens' deflected cross and drove his strike past Schmeichel.
Harvey Barnes twice came close to making it three. He hit an effort wide following a quick counter-attack, as well as striking a half-volley over the bar, but Murray could have got Brighton a point the 87th minute. However, he struck his close-range half-volley into the side netting before Leicester stood firm to record their first Premier League win since New Year's Day.
- Leicester have won their first Premier League game since beating Everton 1-0 on New Year's Day, ending a run of six matches without a victory in the competition (D1 L5).
- Brighton and Hove Albion (P7 W0 D2 L5) are the only side across the top four tiers of English Football still yet to win a league game in 2019.
- Leicester are unbeaten in 15 home matches played on Tuesday in all competitions (W11 D4 L0) since losing 2-4 to Chelsea in the League Cup third round in September 2016.
- Brighton have conceded two or more goals in five consecutive away league games - the Seagulls last went on a longer such run between December 2005 and February 2006 whilst in the Championship (run of seven away games conceding 2+ goals).
- Leicester are unbeaten in their last 33 Premier League games at the King Power Stadium in which they've scored the opening goal (W29 D4 L0), since a 2-5 defeat against Arsenal back in September 2015.
- Leicester's James Maddison is the first English midfielder to reach 10 goal involvements in the Premier League this season (5 goals, 5 assists).
- Demarai Gray's opener after 9 minutes and 22 seconds was Leicester's fastest Premier League goal of this campaign - he has now scored four goals in the 2018-19 Premier League, his best tally in a single season in the competition and his best return in a league campaign since he netted six in the 2014-15 Championship season with Birmingham.
- Jamie Vardy has scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances for Leicester against Brighton (3 goals in total).
Mike Stowell: "He [Brendan Rodgers] just spoke to the lads in the dressing room. He was proud of them and liked the spirit and he promised them there are special things on the horizon.
"The atmosphere has lifted with a win and with the new manager because I'm sure he'll bring a lot of good things and he's got a lot of staff with him. It's exciting times."
Chris Hughton: "It was an even game and we had as many chances as they did - certainly in terms of possession and shots.
"But in the moments that mattered they put two away and we didn't. It's probably a reflection of where we are at the moment."
Man of the Match - Harvey Barnes
Gareth Southgate was watching the game from the stands and he will have been pleased with how involved England U21 winger Barnes was in Leicester's attacks.
The 21-year-old, who was recalled from his loan spell at West Brom in January, caused right-back Martin Montoya plenty of problems with his pace and power. He was unfortunate not to get a goal in a game where he was regularly the focal point of Leicester's forward line.
Leicester travel to Watford with Rodgers set to manage the Midlands club for the first time against his old club on Super Sunday, while Brighton host Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon.