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Brighton 0-0 Wolves, Leicester 1-1 Ipswich: clockwatch – as it happened | Premier League


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Here’s the evening’s match reports on one hell of a footballing day. Look out for the AfCon results, too. Ed Aarons was at Brighton.

And Ben Fisher was at Leicester.

Brighton midfielder James Milner spoke to TNT Sports: “We weren’t sharp in front of goal. A clean sheet is important and with the firepower we have up front we normally get on the scoresheet. Clean sheets are good habits to get into.

“The game is the biggest thing tonight, games wise I’ve hopefully got a few more in me. I’ve had some luck, I’ve worked hard and you have to enjoy it to put the work in every day. I’ve been fortunate to play for some great clubs.”

A reminder of the Premier League table following the Brighton v Wolves stalemate.

So much to play for in the Championship

Full-time: Leicester 1-1 Ipswich

The visitors from Ipswich are all singing for Sarmiento, and the game ends even, balanced by two very different halves. Jamie Vardy is annoyed by something – when isn’t he? – as the game comes to an end. It’s the same scoreline as at Portman Road. That was a fine advert for the EFL and much the better game.

Leicester 1-1 Ipswich: Up in the stands, Enzo Maresca looks annoyed. His team have been given a chasing in the second half. Kieran McKenna’s team pressing high – still – and want the win. So too, Leicester for whom Vardy is battling away up front.

Goal! Leicester 1-1 Ipswich (Sarmiento, 90)

Ipswich keep the ball moving, and moving. Luongo wallops the ball, and Hermansen can only palm the ball to Sarmiento, who’s onside and scores. They deserved that.

Jeremy Sarmiento slams home a last minute equaliser for Ipswich Town at Leicester.
Jeremy Sarmiento slams the ball goalwards … Photograph: Ryan Browne/Shutterstock
Jeremy Sarmiento slams home a last minute equaliser for Ipswich Town at Leicester.
It squirms under Leicester keeper Mads Hermansen and Sarmiento has given the visitors a last minute equaliser. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy appears dejected after Ipswich Town's Jeremy Sarmiento (not pictured) scores their side's last minute equaliser.
Which Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy doesn’t look too pleased about. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

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Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: McAteer seems to have cramp. Worse than a broken leg as Kevin Keegan once said. Ipswich attack with real quality. This is what we came to see, Leicester having to sit back, Sarmiento to the fore….

James Humphries gets in touch: “From my fairly unscientific following of Afcon so far, it seems like about three quarters of the teams could have got out of the group – maybe prior to tonight’s games? – and while I despise “best thrid place finishers” qualifying for rank in elegance, the tournament in general seems wonderfully wide open in terms of upsets. I mean, Cape Verde!”

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Penalty shout for Ipswich for a handball that never was. At the other end, Václav Hladký denies McAteer with a low, diving save. By the way, Jamie Vardy is now on the field.

Full-time: Brighton 0-0 Wolves

Gary O’Neil will be the happier manager; his team have looked well organised and dangerous. Brighton rather huffed and puffed. That’s the first time they haven’t scored at home all season. Nine games unbeaten but they looked well short of their best. Not a game that lives long in the memory….

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Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Joao Pedro jinks and jinks to make an angle to shoot but the danger is closed off. His pocket is picked by Wolves’ new no 62, Tawanda Chirewa, who is making his PL debut. Only another 600-odd to beat James Milner.

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: James Justin comes back to stop a shot from Ipswich’s Jason Broadhead. The visitors look lively on the break.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: One goal very likely to win this one. Into the last five minutes at the Amex. Billy Gilmour has a shot blocked by the wall of Wolves in the box. Pedro Neto leaves the field. He’s looking OK after his long lay off. Lovely player.

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Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Harry Clarke is booked for his heavy tackle on Dewsbury-Hall and Leicester soon go as close as they have all half when Tom Cannon misses the target after some more mayhem from Mavididi.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Oooh, Cunha should have scored. He’s onside, and Steele comes out and yet Cunha is rushed and doesn’t even force Brighton’s goalie into a challenge. Gary O’Neil is aghast. Cunha is a talented lad, but not a very good finisher. He then goes on another excursion and has Brighton worried. He’s played well, been a threat but…you know what. Brighton look the more tired team here.

Brighton's keeper Jason Steele does enough to put off Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Cunha.
Brighton’s keeper Jason Steele does enough to put off Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Matheus Cunha. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Wolves mount an attack but not in great numbers. Feels like this is ticking down to that game over Christmas, the worst ever, that one with West Ham. Still, Neto almost opens it up, and crosses the ball across the goal, with no takers. Steve Bull and the Doog would have gobbled that up.

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Lewis Travis gets a booking, the Ipswich player. It’s been fairly even tempered. Some jeers as Ipswich kick the ball out of play. Travis will no play no further part, having been subbed off. Sarmiento is on, and Jack Taylor is on too.

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Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Off goes Sarabia, and on comes Bellegarde, who has scored twice for Wolves since joining from Strasbourg. Meanwhile, Adam Webster will soon be coming on for Brighton.

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Leicester are coming back at Ipswich.

Charles Antaki gets in touch: “Please give our thanks to Kari Tulinius for the report about the Cape Verde versus Egypt match. But I’m a bit disappointed to learn that the former have the nickname the Blue Sharks; it sounds a bit too much like the kind of rather tepid name that would be given to the teams in the boys’ summer camps of my youth. I suppose on the whole, though, it’s better than the more tempting The Green Capes.”

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: For Brighton, Evan Ferguson and Tariq Lamptey come on, and Facundo Buonanotti and Welbeck go off.

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Ipswich get a free-kick, from the left. Chaplin is the aim, Davis takes a couple of corners in succession. Then the ball comes back out and Burns forces a header from Leicester’s goalie. There’s a penalty shout when Choudhury dishes out some rough stuff. Ipswich have been excellent since the break.

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Back underway at the King Power and Ipswich start with relish. A short corner is taken and at the far side, Burns’ header is poor.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Pascal Gross, an expert on such matters, wings in a corner that has Jose Sa flapping but then a free-kick is given. That seems a tad soft.

AfCon update from Kari Tulinius: “I know AfCon isn’t the subject of this liveblog, but Cape Verde are up one nil against Egypt at half-time, and it doesn’t feel undeserved at all. If the Blue Sharks hold on for the win, the Pharaohs are likely to crash out , which would be a sensation, in a competition that’s been full of upsets so far.”

It’s been a sensational day in AfCon.

Cape Verde's forward Benchimol (right) celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring in the Africa Cup of Nations group game against Egypt.
Cape Verde’s forward Benchimol (right) celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring in their Africa Cup of Nations group game against Egypt. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

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Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Oof, Joao Pedro almost gets through after a neat interchange and then Semedo again shows off his defensive chops with a fine tackle to close off the danger.

Brighton's Joao Pedro is tackled by Wolverhampton Wanderers' Nelson Semedo.
Brighton’s Joao Pedro is thwarted by Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Nelson Semedo. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

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Brighton 0-0 Wolves: They are back underway at the Amex. No changes made, though perhaps Cunha has been calmed down…except he goes close from the start when Neto crosses in and he has his shot saved by Jason Steele, and then has a chance from the rebound.

Half-time: Leicester 1-0 Ipswich

The EFL leaders have been the better team though needed Leif Davis’s own-goal to lead. Ipswich have not been able to play the ball out as they would like. Southampton and Leeds like this.

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich; Was Wout Faes felled? No, he felled himself. Then Tommy Cannon fires wide for the boys in blue. Then Burns does the same for Ipswich, cutting in from the left and shooting over.

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Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Burns is sent away down the right, and he aims the ball inside for Jackson, and Leicester are forced to concede a corner.

Leicester 1-0 Ipswich: Leicester looking the more likely next goalscorers. McAteer and then Ricardo Pereira go close, the second chance coughed up by a mistake from Woolfenden.

Half-time: Brighton 0-0 Wolves

It ends in more rancour, with Matheus Cunha, having already been booked raging and confronting the referee. This one could boil up in the second half. It needs to, it hasn’t been very exciting.

Wolverhampton Wanderers players appeal to referee, Craig Pawson following the half time whistle during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Wolves players aren’t happy with referee Craig Pawson as Matheus Cunha (right), is led away before he says something he regrets. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Goal! Leicester 1-0 Ipswich (Davis, OG 32)

It’s an own-goal but the credit belongs to Mavididi who surges down the wing, and huts the ball into the six-yard box. It comes off Hladky and then the unfortunate Davis.

Leif Davis of Ipswich Town scores an own goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Ipswich Town.
Ipswich’s Leif Davis sticks the ball into his own net to give the home side the lead. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Ipswich Town's Leif Davis appears dejected after scoring an own goal at Leicester.
Dejection for Davis. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA
Kasey McAteer and his Leicester City teammates celebrates after Leif Davis of Ipswich Town scored an own goal to make it 1-0.
Whilst Kasey McAteer and his Leicester City teammates celebrates going ahead. Photograph: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC/Getty Images

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Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Oi oi, hold me back hold me back! Dawson fouls Gilmour, and there is a fracas on the sideline. De Zerbi gets involved, O’Neil is peacemaker, and Wolves goalie coach Neil Cutler gets booked.

Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: Nice play, set up by Leif Davies, and the ball is laid up for Chaplin to shoot at goal. And yet he misses the target.

Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: Hladky is asked to make a decent save after Choudhury cuts in from the left and smashes one on goal. That’s the best football on show so far here.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Nelson Semedo, sometimes not the most reliable defender, does well to read a ball aimed wide for Joao Pedro. It’s quite a nervy affair, both teams looking to spring the trap.

Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: Dewsbury-Hall plays the ball out to Pereira who lets it run beyond him and out. There is a frank exchange of views.

Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: The visitors yet to get going. Leicester’s fluid play is dominating with Harry Winks cutting out danger in midfield.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: While James Milner has the record for the PL in sight, he has a few others he is unlikely to catch. Peter Shilton made 1005 league appearances and Tony Ford, an outfield player, made 931. Dean Lewington, still playing for MK Dons, has made 773. Top-division appearances? Shilton on 848, and the late Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder John Hollins finished on 714. Martin Peters was ten years ahead of time on 688 occasions. So, a fair way for Milner to travel.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Jose Sa flaps at a James Milner free-kick. That was a wobbly moment from a usually very reliable goalie.

Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: It’s a game played at a Premier League tempo, and with PL archetypes like the goalie of both teams being good on the ball. Though Kayden Jackson almost seized on a mistake from Mads Hermansen in Leicester’s goal.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Neto goes close, coming in off the right and on to his left foot. Lewis Dunk didn’t seem to want to get involved in a chase down the wing. Neto is making his first start since doing his hamstring against Newcastle.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Edan Tal gets in touch: “I saw that Brighton signed a player and loaned him to Vitesse today. Do they now just assume all their players will wind up at Chelsea?”

Very good.

Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: Leif Davis steps out from left back in his typical attacking style. Is he named after Leif Garrett? It seems unlikely even if it would be good if he was.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Welbeck chases down the ball and he and Jose Sa clash. The keeper looks hurt but not for long.

Wolves’ keeper Jose Sa claims the ball at the feet of Brighton’s Danny Welbeck as Nelson Semedo looks on.
Wolves’ Nelson Semedo (left) looks on as his keeper Jose Sa gets caught on the noggin by Brighton’s Danny Welbeck. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

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Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: We are go at the King Power. Ipswich, belying their reputation, hoik the ball to the corner. It’s the new thing. Crash smash crash ring.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Joao Pedro and Welbeck link, and the ball is deflected behind, Pervis Estupiñán swings a boot at the corner. Panic in the Wolves area but the ball is cleared.

The TV hype machine for Leicester and Ipswich is in full flow with some memories of Jamie Vardy, Marcus Stewart, Steve Lynex and Romeo Zondervan (some of this is true). Kasabian pumping out, and that means we’re soon to kick off at the King Power.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: It’s all Brighton, Wolves looking to the counter with Neto and Nune their speed. Neto was so good in early season and hopefully is clear of his injury problems.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Early chance for Joao Pedro, with Gilmour and Gross backing him up. When they go forward, they absolutely swarm over their opponents.

Brighton 0-0 Wolves: We are go at the Amex, and Brighton almost immediately engae the high press. Gary O’Neil will have a plan; he always has a plan.

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It was short but sweet, this live blogging stint. I’ll hand you over to John Brewin, who’s necked five cuppas and is ready to go again.

Before their meeting on Boxing Day, Leicester and Ipswich had not crossed swords since February 2014. The Foxes were triumphant that day, winning 3-0 with the opening goal scored by a certain Jamie Vardy. He’s on the bench this evening, a decade later, a little more drawn and grizzled but still a menace. It’ll be interesting to see whether he makes it on to the pitch, having just come back from a knee injury.

As John Brewin takes a well-deserved breather after his Afcon live blog, it’s me, Will Magee, who’ll be kicking things off. First up, Stephy Mavididi, the Leicester forward, has been speaking to club media about the significance of a fixture which pits the league leaders against their third-placed rivals.

“I’m looking forward to it, the whole team’s looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s a big game. We’ve prepared well, I’m just excited to get going. Obviously it helps that we’ve played them recently [in a 1-1 draw on Boxing Day] so we know what we need to do to get a result. We’ve got a game plan, we’ve got to stick with it and see what we can come away with at the end of the game.”

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Leicester v Ipswich teams

Leicester: Hermansen, Ricardo, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin, Choudhury, Winks, Dewsbury-Hall, McAteer, Mavididi, Cannon. Subs: Stolarczyk, Coady, Nelson, Doyle, Albrighton, Marçal, Akgün, Praet, Vardy.

Ipswich: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Davis, Travis, Luongo, Burns, Chaplin, Harness, Jackson. Subs: Walton, Tuanzebe, Ball, Humphreys, Taylor, Hutchinson, Sarmiento, Aluko, Broadhead.

Referee: Josh Smith.

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Brighton v Wolves teams

Brighton: Steele, Hinshelwood, Dunk, Van Hecke, Estupinan, Gross, Gilmour, Milner, Buonanotte, Welbeck, Joao Pedro. Subs: Verbruggen, Lamptey, Webster, Lallana, Moder, Baleba, Ferguson, Peupion, Boaitey.

Wolverhampton: Sa, Kilman, Dawson, Gomes, Semedo, Doyle, Lemina, Doherty, Sarabia, Neto, Cunha. Subs: Mosquera, Griffiths, Santiago Bueno, Hugo Bueno, Bentley, Bellegarde, Hodge, Chirewa, Fraser.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

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Preamble

The Premier League’s rather odd winter break that isn’t actually a break draws to its close with a match between the always interesting Brighton and Gary O’Neil’s battling Wolves team. Just three points separate eighth from 11th as two clubs of the division’s middle classes try and stay close to the European positions and away from the stragglers.

Meanwhile, in the EFL, where there is no such thing as a rest, there’s a match of possibly greater consequence with a meeting of leaders Leicester and third-placed Ipswich. One team is playing fine football with the best funding in the division while the other is playing nice football with rather less funding. Ipswich need a win to climb into second spot, leapfrogging in-form Southampton.

So, kick-off in the PL is at 7.45pm and the EFL at 8.00pm. Join me.

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