‘World class’ Schmeichel saves Leicester with penalty stop in Brighton draw

LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Brendan Rodgers hailed Kasper Schmeichel as “world class” after the Leicester goalkeeper saved Neal Maupay’s penalty in his side’s 0-0 draw with Brighton on Tuesday night.

Schmeichel came to Leicester’s rescue when he plunged to his right to stop Maupay’s spot-kick early in the first half at the King Power Stadium.

That was the highlight of a patchy performance from third-placed Leicester in Rodgers’ 50th game in charge.

“Kasper has made a great save from the penalty, he’s invaluable,” Rodgers said of the Denmark international.

“He’s a world-class goalkeeper. There is absolutely no doubt that he is one of the top goalkeepers in this league.

Leicester’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saves a penalty by Brighton’s Neal Maupay during the English Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, in Leicester. PHOTO: AP

“Just his presence in the goal and his leadership. He studies penalty takers and puts in the work and he’s so agile.

“He’s been absolutely brilliant in the two games back.”

The Foxes are now four points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and nine ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Brighton move six points clear of the relegation zone, but Maupay’s miss denied them a second successive victory after the French striker scored the winner against Arsenal last Saturday.

Brighton gave first Premier League starts to Tariq Lamptey, 19, and Alexis Mac Allister, 21, making Graham Potter’s starting line-up the youngest the Seagulls had ever fielded in the Premier League.

Potter hailed his raw team’s never-say-die spirit, saying: “We have to fight all the way. From the last two games, you can see we are ready for the fight.

“We had to battle. The first half we were really good, carried a threat and reduced a good side to not too much.

“I’m proud of the endeavour and work rate. Sometimes Kasper Schmeichel is good at saving them. It happens, you move on.”