Kasper hailed as world class for heroics

LONDON • Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel had a moment to remember in the first half of the Premier League match against Brighton on Tuesday, while opposite number Mat Ryan had a moment to forget.

Schmeichel's plunge to his right to stop Neal Maupay's 14th-minute spot kick at the King Power Stadium prompted manager Brendan Rodgers to label him as "world class" after the 0-0 draw.

There have been question marks over the level of entertainment in some games since the English top flight resumed. Schmeichel's save was the highlight of a patchy performance from third-placed Leicester in Rodgers' 50th game in charge.

Ryan also made the highlight reels but for the wrong reasons. The Australian's bizarre throw almost allowed Jamie Vardy to score with a tap-in. Instead of starting an attack from the back, the stopper somehow flung the ball backwards. But the league's top scorer with 19 goals could not capitalise as Ryan scrambled back to save at Vardy's feet.

The Foxes are now four points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea (51), who have a game in hand, in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

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

Brighton moved six points clear of the relegation zone before yesterday's late matches but Maupay's miss denied them a second successive victory after the 2-1 defeat of Arsenal on Saturday.

Brighton boss Graham Potter hailed his 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...

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

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2020, with the headline 'Kasper hailed as world class for heroics'. Print Edition | Subscribe