Argyle v Leeds United


Argyle 0

Leeds United 2
Gnonto 10
Rutter 73

Argyle were undone by two predatory contributions, either side of half-time, against a Leeds United team striving to make a swift return to the Premier League.

The Greens fell behind to a Wilfried Gnonto stabbed effort on just 10 minutes but quickly recovered to more than match their lofty visitors in the first half.

It was all Argyle immediately after the restart, as Leeds retreated into a defensive shell, but they broke the shackles, and Pilgrim hearts, with a decisive second from Georginio Rutter to seal the points.

Argyle Head Coach Ian Foster made four changes from the midweek draw with Coventry, with Jordan Houghton, Julio Pleguezuelo, Mickel Miller and Ben Waine replacing Brendan Galloway, Ryan Hardie, Lino Sousa and Darko Gyabi. After a spell out of the squad with injury, Mustapha Bundu was back on the Pilgrims' bench.

It is just ten days since a dramatic extra-time win for Leeds at Home Park in the FA Cup and the Yorkshiremen have enjoyed comfortable wins over Rotherham and Swansea in the past week but the Pilgrims were first to pose a question, Matty Sorinola’s dipping cross prompting momentary hesitation in the visiting defence.

Just as Argyle looked to settle into their Home Park rhythm, Leeds pinched the lead and that defensive hesitation was obviously contagious, as nobody in Green reacted to an innocuous ball into the penalty area, opening the door for Gnonto to prod past Conor Hazard.

The Greens quickly regrouped and a sweeping move through the lines released Miller for driving a run into the left channel and his deflected shot was saved at a stretch by the French custodian Illan Meslier.

Miller continued to be a thorn in the Leeds defence, drilling a cross that was hooked clear by Joe Rodon after mild claims for handball before the game dropped into a spell of midfield sparring.

Morgan Whittaker injected some creative energy with a clever cutback to Houghton from a free-kick and the engine room expert was unlucky to see his effort blocked. His midfield comrade, Adam Randell, then picked up a tactical booking for disrupting a counter by Glen Kamara.

Randell then showed the other side of his game, as Argyle recovered from a deflected Rutter strike against the post, with the homegrown Pilgrim feeding the ball wide to Miller for another low cross that only just eluded the onrushing Whittaker and Waine.

Half-time arrived with Argyle still very much in the game and it was Miller, once again, pinging over a cross that needed more hurried defending from the Leeds backline. Sorinola took inspiration from his wing-back partner, hooking over a cross that was nodded wide by Waine.

It was a last contribution for the New Zealand international, who was withdrawn for Hardie on the hour, as the Pilgrims sought to build on their growing momentum since the restart.

More Miller mayhem forced Meslier into a punched clearance but the Pilgrim siege was abruptly halted by a second goal for Leeds, Rutter breaking the box and firing a confident low finish beyond a stranded Hazard.

Argyle tried to respond with a driven Hardie cross blocked by a resolute Leeds defence before Foster called for a triple change, Mumba, Sousa and Galloway replacing Sorinola, Miller and Lewis Gibson. Bundu for Houghton was the final Argyle change.

Substitute Dan James struck the bar with a Leeds free-kick in stoppage time and Argyle must quickly dust down for the visit of West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday evening.

Argyle: 21 Conor Hazard; 4 Jordan Houghton (capt) (15 Mustapha Bundu 85), 5 Julio Pleguezuelo, 10 Morgan Whittaker, 14 Mickel Miller (3 Lino Sousa 81), 16 Alfie Devine, 17 Lewis Gibson (22 Brendan Galloway 81), 20 Adam Randell, 23 Ben Waine (9 Ryan Hardie 60), 26 Ashley Phillips, 29 Matty Sorinola (2 Bali Mumba 81). Substitutes (not used): 25 Callum Burton (gk), 6 Dan Scarr, 8 Joe Edwards, 35 Freddie Issaka.

Booked: Randell 38, Gibson 53

Leeds: 1 Illan Meslier; 3 Junior Firpo, 7 Joel Piroe, 8 Glen Kamara, 10 Crysencio Summerville (33 Connor Roberts 82), 14 Joe Rodon, 22 Archie Grey, 24 Georginio Rutter, 29 Wilfried Gnonto (20 Dan James 76), 44 Ilia Gruev. Substitutes (not used): 13 Kris Klaesson (gk), 40 Dani van den Heuvel (gk), 5 Charlie Cresswell, 6 Liam Cooper, 17 Jamie Shackleton, 30 Joe Gelhardt, 49 Mateo Joseph.

Booked: Rodon 88

Referee: Matthew Donohue

Attendance: 16,818, (1,739 away