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Sky Bet Championship

Home Park (ATT 11,438) 22nd November 2008 - Kick off 12:45 Ref: P Taylor

Plymouth Plymouth Argyle vs Cardiff City Cardiff

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Pilgrims ease past Bluebirds

Mpenza and Gallagher net in Plymouth success

Last Updated: 22/11/08 2:52pm

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Mpenza: Opening goal

Mpenza: Opening goal

Plymouth Argyle have moved level with Cardiff City in the table following a 2-1 success over The Bluebirds at Home Park.

The Pilgrims were in complete control of the game at half-time thanks to a quick-fire brace from Emile Mpenza and Paul Gallagher.

On-loan Sunderland striker Michael Chopra pulled one back shortly after the hour mark, but the Welsh outfit were unable to find a leveller.

Cardiff made a nervous start and survived an unnecessary scare in the first minute when Tom Heaton handled outside the area as he slid along the greasy surface to collect the ball but the visitors cleared the resulting free-kick.

The on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper then had to rush from his line to block a Mpenza shot after Chris Clark's through-ball caught the defence flat-footed.

Assert their authority

Plymouth continued to assert their authority and Gallacher's powerful shot just cleared the crossbar after a neat exchange of passes with Rory Fallon on the edge of the box.

Argyle captain Karl Duguid was forced off injured after only 16 minutes and he was replaced by Yoann Folly.

Mpenza then thumped an angled shot against Heaton's chest after Fallon's header had put him through on the right of the area.

Cardiff's first chance came after 19 minutes in a goalmouth scramble from a corner. The ball eventually broke to Chopra with his back to goal and his turn and shot forced a good save from Romain Larrieu at the foot of his near post.

It appeared Plymouth would reap no reward for their first-half dominance but Mpenza made the breakthrough in the 39th minute after Fallon's header across the area.

Opening goal

The Belgian tangled with Darren Purse before showing good athleticism to hook the ball over Heaton into the roof of the net.

Three minutes later, the home side extended their lead when Clark's cross from the right caught the wind and sailed over Heaton, rebounding off the crossbar for Gallacher to prod into an empty net from close range.

Mpenza had a half-chance to put the game beyond Cardiff five minutes after the break but he headed over from 12 yards.

Cardiff began to get back into the game and Chopra's 25-yard shot dipped over the crossbar in the 58th minute.

Four minutes later they had halved the deficit as Chopra took Wayne Routledge's clever reverse pass in his stride before rounding Larrieu and slotting home.

The on-loan striker might have salvaged a point for Cardiff in injury time but he shot straight at Larrieu from the edge of the area.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 90
2 Watford 46 89
3 Norwich City 46 86
4 Middlesbrough 46 85
5 Brentford 46 78
6 Ipswich Town 46 78
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 78
8 Derby County 46 77
9 Blackburn Rovers 46 67
10 Birmingham City 46 63
11 Cardiff City 46 62
12 Charlton Athletic 46 60
13 Sheffield Wednesday 46 60
14 Nottingham Forest 46 59
15 Leeds United 46 56
16 Huddersfield Town 46 55
17 Fulham 46 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 46 51
19 Reading 46 50
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 47
21 Rotherham United 46 46
22 Millwall 46 41
23 Wigan Athletic 46 39
24 Blackpool 46 26

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