A completely dominant Sunderland side earned a 2-0 victory over Plymouth, who never looked like getting anything from the game. 32,000 Sunderland fans witnessed a footballing masterclass as Plymouth barely had a touch of the ball in the first 15 minutes. The lads knocked the ball about with precision and pace, but failing to carve out clear-cut chances for Will Grigg and co.
Sunderland took the advantage just after the 30 minute mark when following a scramble from Grant Leadbitter’s corner, Lee Cattermole scoring again to make it two goals in two home games for the former captain now. The Mackems saw out the half easily as Plymouth continued to put ten men behind the ball and isolated Ladapo up front.
The second half was a dull affair, but George Honeyman eventually doubled the red and white lead in the 87th minute with a good finish. The captain wheeled away in delight and Sunderland fans were ecstatic.
With Barnsley winning, Sunderland remain in third place but still have a game in hand, and Barnsley to play soon. We now look forward to the Checkatrade trophy semi-final on Tuesday against Bristol Rovers, and hope to earn a trip to Wembley
Jon McLaughlin (7/10): Solid if not spectacular. As usual, the Scot did what he had to efficiently although distribution was rather poor.
Luke O’Nien (7/10): Didn’t put a foot wrong yet again. Offered a threat going forward and did well defensively.
Tom Flanagan (7/10): Had Ladapo in his pocket all afternoon. Distribution from the back could be improved though.
Jimmy Dunne (7/10): Seems to be forging a formidable partnership with Flanagan. After struggling, Dunne had found his feet and has some confidence back.
Reece James (6/10): The left back was a little off the pace today. A few misplaced passes and wasn’t great going forward throughout.
Grant Leadbitter (8/10): Completely dominated possession, especially in the first half. Showed great vision and caused trouble from set pieces once again. Arguably the League One signing of January.
Lee Cattermole (8/10): Catts has found his early season form again. Since the signing of Leadbitter Lee Barry has been rejuvenated, and a machine in front of goal!
Lewis Morgan (6/10): Worked very hard and tortured the Plymouth defence.
Aiden McGeady (7/10): McGeady was skilful and beat his man several times with ease. Forced a player into an early yellow in the first half.
George Honeyman (7/10): Didn’t do anything wrong and pressed the Plymouth defence well. Got a nice goal to boot.
Will Grigg (6/10): General play was good, but again missed a golden chance. Perhaps needs more support up top.
Duncan Watmore (6/10): Quick and tricky, but decision making wasn’t great. Could have created a third goal right at the end but his pass was poor.
Charlie Wyke (N/A)
Lynden Gooch (N/A)