Player Ratings: Oxford
Remi MATTHEWS: 5
In what was a difficult game to be a goalkeeper, Matthews didn’t make many errors. However, the lack of support from his back four made it a busy afternoon for the Norwich loanee – conceding four in the process.
Gary SAWYER: 5
Often an assured and consistent figure in the Argyle squad, Sawyer was exposed in the second-half when moved to his natural left-back position after the withdrawal of Aaron Taylor-Sinclair at half-time, with most of Oxford’s dangerous attacking play coming down Argyle’s left.
Sonny BRADLEY: 5
Often the focal point of Argyle’s defence, Sonny Bradley had an extremely tough afternoon. Bradley struggled to deal with the pace of Oxford’s attackers, and was regularly retreating towards his own goal.
Ryan EDWARDS: 5
The right sider enjoyed a solid first 10 minutes at the centre of the Pilgrims defence, before a dubious, game-changing red card and penalty decision by referee Graham Horwood, after Edwards was adjudged to have committed a foul on Oxford’s lively forward Wes Thomas.
Yann SONGO’O: 4
After playing an important role in the heart of the Argyle midfield in the recent unbeaten run, Songo’o was moved back to central-defence following the dismissal of Ryan Edwards. Songo’o became reckless and frustrated in the latter stages of the game, earning his booking. The Cameroonian looks far more assured in a holding midfield role than the central-defensive role he fulfilled.
Aaron TAYLOR-SINCLAIR: 6
Left-back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair was one of the better Argyle performers of the day, before being substituted for Gary Miller at half-time. The Scotsman looked very steady in the first period, seemingly coming on leaps and bounds since his introduction to the first team.
David FOX: 5
The experienced midfielder unusually looked off the pace, in an Argyle midfield overran in the second-half by the man disadvantage. Fox was a shadow of his usual self, misplacing several passes in the little possession he had, particularly throughout the second-half.
Toumani DIAGOURAGA: 6
Although overran in the second-half by a dominant Oxford, Diagouraga showed some good touches and use of the ball. The centre mid covered a lot of ground and showed off an impressive work-rate, effectively running himself into the ground before his substitution on 74 minutes for Antoni Sarcevic. MOTM.
Graham CAREY: 5
On return from suspension, usually-influential Carey was double-marked for much of the game. After a bright start, creating a few chances down the right-hand side and hitting the post from a free-kick, League One’s player of the month quickly faded away, and with him went Argyle’s best chance of getting something from the game. Argyle failed to get the Irishman on the ball often enough to dictate their attacking play in the second-half.
Jake JERVIS: 6
Jervis, more suited to a wide position, fulfilled a very tough lone striker role well under the circumstances. His work rate was second-to-none, often chasing loose ends at the point of an Argyle attack which created very little, particularly in the second-half. Jervis must’ve had a notably frustrating afternoon, winning many knock-downs and duels with the Oxford central defenders which came to nothing. However, he missed Argyle’s best opportunity of the game just after the half-time break trailing 1-0, dragging a shot wide following a clever and quick free-kick from Fox.
Joel GRANT: 5
Grant didn’t look at his best on a miserable afternoon for Argyle. He appeared to be particularly lacklustre and struggled to get into the game, not making the most of the limited attacking opportunities he received, causing the Oxford defence few problems. Substituted on 64 minutes for Rúben Lameiras.
Gary MILLER: 3
It was a poor and sluggish performance from the Argyle right-back, looking a yard off the pace after a period out of the side. Miller came on as a half-time sub for Taylor-Sinclair and offered very little to Argyle’s attacking play. He was especially poor defensively; looking error-prone and often beaten very easily by Oxford’s attacking threats.
Rúben LAMIERAS: 6
Today used as a right-winger, he was sent on as Joel Grant’s replacement to offer a different dynamic to Argyle’s attacking play. Although he showed small signs of quality touches, Lameiras struggled to make a big impact on the game, at a point of the game in which Oxford were in full control.
Antoni SARCEVIC: 5
Sent on as a late substitute with the game, Sarcevic rarely touched the ball and couldn’t make an impact in an already-beaten Argyle side.