Even the recent VAR fiasco couldn’t ruin what was a spectacular, scintillating afternoon at the Amex.
Not for Albion and not for Alexis Mac Allister.
In fact, this sense of injustice, justified or not, cheered fans and audiences alike and certainly contributed to the final act.
Denying a potential goal of the season amid the excitement, the Argentina midfielder had the final say he and his team deserved.
His fabulous free-kick in the closing seconds of VAR and added time gave Albion their first five-goal win in the Premier League.
It came to his own penalty, an own goal forced by Solly March and fine finishes from Leandro Trossard and Moises Caicedo.
And it gave the hosts the kind of winning edge they deserved.
It was a special afternoon at the stadium and the celebrations that followed reflected that.
And yet Albion could hardly have gotten off to a worse start as they were cut apart after a minute.
Youri Tielemans’ pass slipped past Patson Daka on the left.
He cut the ball back from the touchline and Kelechi Iheanacho had a tap-in.
That setback didn’t seem to shake the hosts’ confidence at all.
They swarmed forward and were level after ten minutes.
Trossard chipped the ball at the far post and it seemed at first that March had ended his wait for a goal by getting his side level.
half correct. Albion was indeed amicable but his header went wide of Luke Thomas.
That didn’t stop the celebrations, however, and the home side took the lead with speed, offensive ideas and movement.
The goal that put them ahead owed so much to Enock Mwepu.
He captured James Maddison halfway and made tracks towards the area.
With Danny Welbeck on his left, he delayed his pass and then stopped it perfectly when he found Caicedo on his right.
Caicedo took a touch and lashed his shot unerringly over Danny Ward and into the far post.
Leicester looked ragged and there was an argument between Wilfred Ndidi and Ward as the latter saw Welbeck take the ball off his toes which then chipped onto the roof of the net from very far out.
It felt like another goal would kill Leicester but instead they equalized through Daka’s composed finish after Lewis dunk failed to clip out a pass from Tielemans delivered without pressure.
Robert Sanchez later had to save a shot from Harvey Barnes and at the other end March headed wide as Trossard scooped the ball over.
We wondered if both teams would step on the brakes at half-time and things would calm down.
If anything, things got even wilder – but pretty much everything was in Leicester’s third field.
Albion started the second period on the front foot as they swarmed towards the North Stand.
Mac Allister brought down the home with his sweetest half-volley links, which found the top corner after Gross’s free-kick was cleared to him perhaps five yards outside the box.
The celebrations had just started to fade – and Leicester players were ready to get going again – when it became clear a VAR review was underway.
The long, unconvincing trial that ensued could have spoiled the afternoon as the goal was eventually ruled out. Even Leicester legend and fan Gary Lineker had his say in support of Albion.
But the reaction to it not being allowed was great.
Trossard showed supreme confidence to angle his finish over Ward after a few more skillful passes saw Gross send him through with an impromptu pass.
When Ndidi fouled Trossard, who narrowly smacked him on the touchline, Mac Allister was back in the spotlight.
Hi-penalty kicks have all gone close to the post, mostly to the right of the goalkeeper.
Ward had done his homework and fell that way.
Mac Allister saw him go and fired him straight down the middle.
Albion continued to play with pride, style, panache and energy.
“Graham Potter’s Army of Blue and White” blew the ball and her fans loved it.
The finale was fitting. If Potter had had any concerns about his forward resources, Welbeck would have ended up sitting with his feet up. He doesn’t – and he wasn’t.
Instead, after eight minutes into stoppage time, Welbeck dropped low, seized possession, ran towards a group of defenders and was knocked down.
In the time added for this VAR episode, and from a similar distance, Mac Allister found more or less the same top corner to bring the house down – again.
Very, very special.
Albion: Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster; March (Lamptey 90), Caicedo (Gilmour 90), Mac Allister, Mwepu (Undav 84), Trossard (Estupiñán 89); Gross 8, Welbeck 7. Substitutes not used: Steele, Colwill, Alzate, Mitoma, Van Hecke.
Booked: Mac Allister Leicester: Ward; Justin, Ndidi, Evans, Thomas; Tielemans (Amartey 72), Soumare (Dewsbury-Hall 72); Maddison, Iheanacho (Vardy 72), Barnes (Castagne 46); daka Unused subs: Iversen, Albrighton, Perez, Mendy, Praet.
Booked: Thomas Referee: Tony Harrington. VAR: Chris Kavanagh.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/20900532.brighton-beat-leicester-5-1-alexis-mac-allister-double/?ref=rss Brighton beat Leicester 5-1 with Alexis Mac Allister in the double