Leeds United continued their fine start to the Championship season once again with a comfortable 3-0 win against Stoke City away from home.
Goals from Stuart Dallas, Ezgjan Alioski and Patrick Bamford were enough for Marcelo Bielsa’s side to pick up all three points on Saturday afternoon and give themselves a two-point advantage after five games (Sky Sports).
Although there would be a case to praise almost every single player in the team for their magnificent start to life in England’s second tier, perhaps, one man should have deserved a little more recognition for the role he played at the weekend after being drafted into the side.
Gaetano Berardi has had to bide his time for a Championship start this season as both Ben White and Liam Cooper have thrived in the side so far, however the former Switzerland international was given his opportunity due to the latter of the aforementioned duo not being quite 100% (Yorkshire Evening Post).
Indeed, it would seem the 31-year-old made the most of his chance.
According to data by WhoScored, who gave him a match rating of 7.72, Berardi managed to make one tackle, two interceptions and six clearances over the 90 minutes as he helped Leeds to keep a clean sheet and keep Kiko Casilla involvement in the game rather limited.
Twitter account LUFCDATA also shared an insight on how well the centre-back played and lauded his performance as well. They revealed the 31-year-old had 92 touches with a pass completion rate of 86%, blocked two shots and won five aerial duels throughout the game – the most by any Leeds player.
Gaetano Berardi vs. Stoke:
92 touches (2nd-most)
86% pass acc.
61/71 successful passes
6 clearances (most)
5 aerial duels won (most for Leeds)
4 ball recoveries
2 blocked shots (most for Leeds)
1 tackle won
Stepped up and delivered. Didn't put a foot wrong. pic.twitter.com/FHYSpX4XuL
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) August 24, 2019
Fansite Through It All Together were, perhaps, not as delighted with his contribution as others were, however they did still rate him at a 7.5 and were generally satisfied with what they witnessed from the experienced enforcer.
They wrote: “Covered for his teammates excellently when it looked like Jordan Cousins could be through on goal. Coped well in the air, good first half. Second half – no drama whatsoever – coped with everything that came his way. 7.5/10.”
Leeds certainly appear to have three solid centre-backs in Berardi, White and Cooper to choose from and it would seem Bielsa could be spoiled for choice – despite a possible sense that they are lacking depth in that particular position of the field (Transfermarkt).
Should those three remain fit and be available to the Argentine for the duration of the current campaign, the Whites could be an extremely difficult and formidable side to try and score against, let alone try and defeat.
Leeds fans, what did you make of Berardi’s performance against Stoke on Saturday? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!