April 19, 2024

Every Argyle player who played against Sunderland on Saturday played their part in the Greens’ clean sheet in their 2-0 victory.

Possibly most eye-catching of all, though, was Lewis Gibson, in the heart of the back four. In many ways, the game was made for Gibson who, as a former Newcastle United academy player, might well have enjoyed the scoreline slightly more than most.

Cross, after corner, after diagonal ball found not the intended recipients of the Sunderland side, but instead the blonde forehead of Gibson, a player who since his arrival in the summer, has quickly established himself as a defender who is more than up for a battle.

After the game, speaking to Argyle TV, Gibson quickly moved to spread the praise across the whole team – and gave a mention to the sold-out Home Park crowd, too, as they rallied behind their side throughout.

Sunderland (H) | Gibson's Reaction | Plymouth Argyle - PAFC

“After the international break, you want to come back and get yourself on the right foot,” he said. “Against a good team, it’s a clean sheet, three points at home – I’m really happy.

“A bit of a conversation was about that we played well against Middlesbrough a few weeks ago. They came out, started really fast, and we end up conceding.

“It’s about doing the basics really well and locking it up at the back, really, because that was what would win us the game.

“We started hearing the crowd, which pulls you through a little bit.

“The performances here, before I came in this season, have been really good. That’s obviously been one of the strengths; everyone comes here and knows they’re going to expect a game.

“We’re obviously really thankful for the support. It’s always a sell-out here, they were really loud and pulled us through.

“It’s just about keeping your concentration and communicating around you, making sure everyone’s switched on for whatever comes.

“They’ve got two tricky wingers, so you’ve always got to be aware for whatever comes, whether they’re going down the line or whether they’re coming inside. I thought we defended really well as a team.

“We also started to feel that there were more and more players getting flooded forward. I thought we were really good out wide. We got into two-v-one positions, not just out wide but all the way around the pitch.

“It was a real team game today and it’s a really positive performance.”

While the team, as a unit, kept a clean sheet, at the other end two excellent goals gave Argyle the breathing space they needed.

Morgan Whittaker put the Pilgrims in front with his eighth of the season, a superb drive from outside the area that swerved into the corner, before Finn Azaz completed a move that began with Gibson and had significant contributions from Jordan Houghton and Luke Cundle.

“The goals were pretty much both of them to a tee,” said Lewis. “Morgan comes from the side on his left foot and I don’t even know how to describe that one. He absolutely bangs that one in.

“Then Finn Azaz is turning around, twisting people up. It summed both of them up.”

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