Leeds United moved back up to second in the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Plymouth on Saturday thanks to goals from forwards Wilfried Gnonto and Georginio Rutter.

Southampton’s win by the same scoreline at West Brom on Friday night had put the South Coast side into the automatic promotion spots, but they lasted less than 24 hours in there as Leeds continued their fine run of form.

Daniel Farke’s side made a flying start at Home Park and their early pressure was rewarded with a 10th minute goal for Gnonto, taking his goal tally to five in as many games.

Rutter’s audacious high ball into the area split the home defence and the little Italian international brilliantly brought the ball down and stroked it home past goalkeeper Conor Hazard.

Argyle’s best attempt in the opening 25 minutes was a long-range shot which flew over by midweek scorer Mickel Miller, recalled to the starting eleven following his impressive display against Coventry.

Miller was also on hand to stop a lightning break in the 32nd minute as Crysencio Summerville looked to pounce on the counter attack in a one-on-one break.

Seconds earlier, United keeper Illan Meslier did well to punch Morgan Whittaker’s in-swinging corner clear, in a rare Argyle attack.

Rutter came close to putting Leeds 2-0 up in the 38th minute with a first time shot that flew back off the post, with Hazard beaten, after being set up by Joel Piroe.

Piroe did superbly to beat three Argyle players before putting Rutter in on goal.

Miller continued to be a thorn in Leeds’ side in the second half and his pacey 52nd minute cross from the left should have been converted by Kiwi striker Ben Waine, as he slid in on the increasingly wet playing surface.

Three minutes later, Miller forced a near-post save from Meslier as he let fly with a rising shot from the left.

Waine then headed over from Matthew Sorinola’s cross from the right after 57 minutes as he tried and failed to atone for his earlier miss.

Leeds hit back, as Summerville fired high and wide after making room for himself in the Plymouth penalty area from Rutter’s cutback.

Within minutes, Rutter was at the centre of the action again, scoring the away side’s vital second goal.

The striker ran on to Piroe’s defence-splitting through ball and beat the diving Hazard with a thumping shot on the run into the box, which gave the home keeper little chance on 72 minutes.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Georginio Rutter scored in an FA Cup replay at Plymouth less than two weeks ago, and he was at it again at Home Park on Saturday.Georginio Rutter scored in an FA Cup replay at Plymouth less than two weeks ago, and he was at it again at Home Park on Saturday. (Image: PA.)

Scottish striker Ryan Hardie announced his arrival – as a replacement for Waine – by forcing an acrobatic save from Meslier.

The French keeper then made a low save at his near post to keep out 18-goal top scorer Morgan Whittaker’s 88th minute free kick from the right.

Leeds came close to making it three in stoppage time as substitute Daniel James’ thumping strike smashed off the cross bar.

But they happily settled for 2-0, with this an important win for them ahead of a mammoth clash at home to league leaders Leicester City this Friday.