Pilgrims ease past Bluebirds
Mpenza and Gallagher net in Plymouth success
Last Updated: 22/11/08 2:52pm
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.
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.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 22nd Nov
Plymouth2 - 1Cardiff
Charlton2 - 5Sheff Utd
Burnley0 - 0Doncaster
Sheff Wed0 - 1Coventry
Reading1 - 2So'ton
C Palace4 - 2Bristol C
Wolves2 - 0Blackpool
Preston2 - 1Barnsley
Watford3 - 0QPR
Ipswich2 - 0Derby
N Forest1 - 2Norwich
Sky Bet Championship
|19||Brighton and Hove Albion||27||29|