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What we learned from Brighton vs Leicester City

Foxes equal their best Premier League run

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Leicester City’s Premier League winning run is now up to five straight games (six in all competitions) after a well deserved win at Brighton. Here are some things we can take from the performance.

1. The defence just keeps improving

Leicester have conceded three fewer goals than the next stingiest team in the league, so it’s hardly a new lesson that the defence is pretty good.

Through most of the current run of four consecutive clean sheets, a big part of that impressive defence has come from other areas. The midfield have held onto and recovered the ball so well that the defenders have rarely under pressure and when they were, Schmeichel bailed them out.

I think we defended [well]. That’s why our record is so good.We were so compact and gave away few chances, very few clear-cut chances, so it was a deserved clean sheet, which I know Kasper and the lads will be happy about, which we all are. A deserved three points - James Maddison was full of praise for his defence on lcfc.com

That wasn’t the case in the second half of this game. Brighton forced us deep into out own half, putting the back line under pressure they haven’t seen since the Liverpool game, and yet they managed to keep Kasper’s gloves clean for the full 90 minutes.

While the others manage incredible individual moments, Jonny Evans has been the key. When his partners are occasionally caught out of position, Evans has an incredible ability to always just be wherever he’s needed to cover. If he can stay healthy, this run will keep going.

2. The chances are getting better

When I first started writing these articles, one of the hardest things was finding new ways to say “please stop shooting from 30 yards out”. Looking back, I haven't had to say it for weeks.

The Foxes were way out at the top of the league in % of shots from outside the box with no one else close. In recent weeks they’ve taken so many shots from inside that they’ve dropped all the way down to...joint third. Hey, progress is progress.

This improvement has come from a number of sources. The first is just Brendan Rodgers’ patient message settling in a bit better, but we’ve also seen some great strides made by individuals. Chief among them has been Ben Chilwell’s improbable advancement at crossing.

He’s always been a useful attacking contributor, but with a penchant for picking out the first defender. Not any more. Over his last few games for club and country, the England LB has been whipping in dangerous balls again and again, picking up a bunch of assists in the process. He now leads the team in expected assists.

3. Our counters are still lethal

Is it possible Jamie Vardy is underrated? His incredible goal scoring, and personal quest to ruin the calculations behind expected goals, have taken centre stage, but it’s always worth remembering how else he can affect games.

Opposition simply can’t afford to push forward the way Brighton did against his pace. They all learned that once before, but it seems like that message is being forgotten.

With a little space behind to work with, Vardy was an absolute nightmare for the defence for the entire second half. Not just with his pace and desire to win the ball, but the intelligence of his play and ability to make excellent decisions with the ball at top speed.

The Foxes struggled to take hold of the game in the second half and play their new way, but the ‘old fashioned’ Leicester style works just fine too. It feels great to have an equally effective plan B.