Game of the Day: SAFC 5 Plymouth 1

by Kate Smith

A five-star show from promotion chasing Sunderland.

Sunderland kept up the pressure on Wigan Athletic in the Championship title race with a thumping win over Plymouth Argyle thanks to a three-goal first-half haul.

It was the Black Cats fifth consecutive win, a run that would extend to eight, and Mick McCarthy’s side were ruthless in their dismantling of the Devonshire side.

Dean Whitehead put the Black Cats ahead on the half-hour with a header from Stephen Wright's cross and then turned provider to set up Julio Arca to fire in a second ten minutes later.

Marcus Stewart hit the third on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot after Graham Coughlan fouled the Sunderland striker.

Stephen Caldwell headed in a cross from Liam Lawrence early in the second-half before Plymouth got one back with Scott Taylor's low finish.

Sean Thornton's strike in the closing stages wrapped up a memorable evening for the Black Cats.

Sunderland: Myhre, Wright, Breen, McCartney, Caldwell, Whitehead (Thornton, 45), Whitley (Lawrence, 45), Arca, Robinson, Elliott, Stewart (Brown, 79).

Subs not used: Ingham, Bridges.