Glenn Murray had a penalty saved before Vicente Iborra and Jamie Vardy struck late for 10-man Leicester City as they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 to prevent the Seagulls from all but securing their Premier League status.
Kasper Schmeichel was at fault for Chelsea's extra-time winner as Leicester were knocked out of the FA Cup last time out, but he was a hero for the Foxes on this occasion.
The Dane got down low to his left to deny Murray, who had missed a gilt-edged chance in the first half, after Harry Maguire brought down Jose Izquierdo.
And Leicester quickly took advantage of that let-off as Iborra popped up to settle what had for the most part been a disappointing contest.
Iborra glanced Ben Chilwell's left-wing cross into the bottom-right corner, yet there was another twist in the tale as Leicester's Wilfred Ndidi was sent off for a second yellow card.
But the visitors held firm despite their numerical disadvantage and Vardy added late gloss to the scoreline with an injury-time tap-in, Brighton unable to claim a win that would have seen them go nine points clear of third-bottom Southampton. Instead, they remain six points clear of the drop.
In a first half of few attacking opportunities, it was Brighton who had the better of the play, and they could have taken the lead after quarter of an hour had Beram Kayal been able to get a touch on Jurgen Locadia's low ball from the right.
Leicester offered precious little going forward and only the profligacy of Murray prevented them from going behind.
First, Murray latched on to a poor pass from Maguire only to curl over the bar, before somehow firing wide when put clean through on goal by more sloppy defending from the visitors.
Pascal Gross finally forced Schmeichel into action with a rasping drive that the Dane turned round the post, but both shot-stoppers remained largely untroubled.
Lewis Dunk headed over from a free-kick delivery but Brighton were presented with a golden opportunity when Izquierdo's surge into the box was stopped by Maguire in the 76th minute.
However, Murray could not convert from 12 yards as Schmeichel atoned for his error in the cup, and seven minutes from time Iborra punished the Brighton striker's misfortune.
3 - Kasper Schmeichel has now saved three Premier League penalties (14 faced), the same number his dad Peter saved in his PL career (3 from 21 faced). Genetics. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 31, 2018
Mat Ryan had been largely untested in the Brighton goal but he had no answer to Iborra's precise header.
Brighton's hopes of a leveller were swiftly boosted when Ndidi saw red for a rash challenge on Shane Duffy, and Solly March forced more heroics from Schmeichel with a brilliant long-range free-kick that was turned over.
Yet they could not find a way through and Vardy heightened their frustration in the 96th minute when he fired in a simple finish following good work down the right from Demarai Gray.
Key Opta stats:
- This was Brighton's fourth Premier League home defeat, and first against a non 'big-six' side.
- Wilfred Ndidi’s red card was Leicester's fourth of the season in the Premier League – no side has been shown more (level with Chelsea and Watford).
- This was the 23rd away Premier League game in which Leicester had a player sent off, but only the second they went on to win (also beating Hull in December 2014).
- Jamie Vardy has scored in five of Leicester's last six away league games, with the other game in that run ending 0-0.
- Vicente Iborra has scored in back-to-back Premier League games, after netting in just one of his first 14 in the competition.