Plymouth Argyle 0 Leeds United 3: Blake's heaven as Leeds' class tells

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The Independent Online

Leeds made it four games unbeaten in the Championship with a 3-0 win at Plymouth that keeps the pressure on second-placed Sheffield United.

After an ordinary first 45 minutes of football, the game came to life in the second period, with Leeds showing just why they have had such an impressive first half of the season.

Eddie Lewis was quite superb for the visitors, tormenting the Plymouth defence with some terrific work down the left. Second-half goals from Richard Cresswell, Robbie Blake and a Rob Hulse penalty secured the points for Leeds, but it was Lewis who stole the show.

Despite a rousing atmosphere at Home Park, the game struggled to come to life in front of a crowd of just under 18,000, as both sides lacked composure and time on the ball early on.

Plymouth midfielder Akos Buzsaky provided some memorable moments of skill, but his final ball was lacking.

Scott Taylor, playing in place of the injured Nick Chadwick, had the first real chance of the game for Plymouth, but was unable to control his volley.

Plymouth goalkeeper Romain Larrieu, so impressive against Wolves on New Year's Eve, was virtually a spectator in the opening half an hour as Leeds failed to create any chances of note.

Lewis nearly created an opening in the 37th minute when he whipped in a splendid cross from the left that Larrieu did well to punch clear under pressure.

Leeds began to come into the game more and Cresswell was unlucky not to score with a delightful near-post flick following Lewis' run. Leeds finally broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, and unsurprisingly Lewis and Cresswell were involved. Lewis collected a wayward corner on the left-hand edge of the Plymouth penalty area, and Cresswell met the midfielder's drive with a glancing header to put the visitors 1-0 up.

The goal gave Leeds some real confidence and Lewis continued to cause the Plymouth defence problems down the left.

The visitors went further in front when Lewis showed tremendous pace and determination down the flank before whipping in a superb cross that Blake blasted home from close range.

Leeds looked a different side from the disjointed outfit of the first half, and as the game wore on they looked capable of scoring every time they went forward.

A late penalty by substitute Hulse, after Mathias Doumbe had upended Liam Miller in the box, made it 3-0 to the visitors.

Plymouth Argyle: Larrieu, Connolly, Doumbe, Ward, Barness, Buzsaky, Jarrett, Wotton, Capaldi, Evans, Taylor. Substitutes: Lasley, Aljofree, Derbyshire, McCormick, Djordjic.

Leeds United: Sullivan, Kelly, Butler, Kilgallon, Crainey, Lewis, Douglas, Derry, Miller, Cresswell, Blake. Substitutes: Healy, Pugh, Bennett, Richardson, Hulse.

Referee: P Taylor (Hertfordshire)

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