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Leicester City 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Okazaki´s early opener sets Foxes on their way

19 August 2017 17:57

Shinji Okazaki scored inside 52 seconds as Leicester City got their Premier League campaign up and running at the second attempt with a 2-0 home success against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Two late strikes at Arsenal on the opening day had the 2015-16 champions on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller, but this time the result never looked in doubt after a goal in the game's first attack, and Harry Maguire later headed a second.

Brighton barely laid a glove on Manchester City in their Premier League debut - another 2-0 defeat - and they again lacked the firepower to respond after Okazaki's opener at the King Power Stadium.

The Japan international's tap-in owed much to Mat Ryan's generous goalkeeping and the lead suited a well-versed Leicester game plan as they encouraged the visitors to attack and found them incapable of troubling a sturdy defence.

Ryan was beaten again when Maguire stooped a header into the net from close range and, despite the introduction of Foxes old boy Anthony Knockaert, Brighton's continued wait for a Premier League goal ensured a comfortable Leicester win.

Okazaki had netted early at Emirates Stadium and needed less than a minute to add his second of the campaign here, tucking home a simple finish inside the area after Ryan's feeble parry from a Riyad Mahrez shot.

And Leicester continued to prey on a nervy Brighton back line, with Jamie Vardy miscuing twice in quick succession when Okazaki's enterprise forged a clear opening for the England man.

A blatantly offside Glenn Murray was denied an equaliser at the other end and the visitors then appealed in vain for a penalty as Wes Morgan blocked bravely with a combination of arm and chest from Jamie Murphy's drive.

But that attacking flurry was all too brief for Chris Hughton's side and Okazaki almost doubled Leicester's lead shortly before half-time with a lunging effort from Vardy's right-wing centre just missing the near post.

A second goal did arrive nine minutes after the break, though, as Maguire met Mahrez's corner and saw his header clip marker Shane Duffy on its way past Ryan.

Brighton again offered little by way of a riposte, although Kasper Schmeichel was finally tested by Tomer Hemed, and Mahrez and Marc Albrighton both could have scored another had they not finished tamely in promising positions.

Victory was secured without the need for a third goal, but a day of positivity for Craig Shakespeare's men ended on a slight sour note as Vardy hobbled off after appearing to injure his ankle in a stoppage-time collision with Ryan.

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