Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds (broadcast on 10/12; 21:46) that he was hugely impressed by Gaetano Berardi’s performance during Leeds United’s 2-0 victory against Hull City.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have returned to the top of the Championship after bagging two second-half goals at Elland Road. It was a tough evening for the Whites. They were arguably the better team in the first-half, but could not find that killer pass in the final third.
In the second-half however, Hull asked a lot more questions. And it is fair to say that the back five certainly did their bit to set the stage for Leeds to get the win. Kiko Casilla made a couple of outstanding saves, and Berardi was exceptional in his duel with Tom Eaves.
The 31-year-old was rarely beaten by the Hull striker. And he dealt with the physical challenge superbly. That prompted Whelan to suggest that it was arguably his best display of the season so far.
“Excellent. I think his aggression was fantastic,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “I love the way he went about his business. He’s thrown his body in front of everything.
“He’s a 100 percent-er. I can never take that away from him. I love him at the football club. Today, he was excellent.”
Berardi has, understandably, not always managed to avoid criticism. He has been guilty of making big mistakes at crucial moments in the past. But he continues to improve under Bielsa.
And with Leeds maintaining a remarkable defensive record – they have conceded just 10 goals in 21 games – it would be no surprise if Berardi remained in the side this weekend whether Liam Cooper is available or not.