Three key areas where Leeds United star trumped Southampton loanee on Saturday

Leeds United’s Giuseppe Bellusci and Southampton-owned Jos Hooiveld faced off on Saturday.

Leeds United faced Millwall in a Championship crunch tie at Elland Road on Saturday and it was a case of the defenders getting the better of the attackers.

The hosts edged out the encounter 1-0 with Alex Mowatt grabbing the only goal of the game via a superbly-taken second-half free-kick.

However, the Whites’ crucial victory owes much to their outstanding defence on the day with centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci in particular having a solid outing.

The Italian ace has often been involved in controversy this season, but on Saturday his football did the talking and he outperformed Premier League defender Jos Hooiveld in three key areas.

  TacklesInterceptionsEffective ClearancesAerial Battles WonBall RecoveriesAccurate PassesMins Played
Giuseppe Bellusci 2 2 9 4 2 12 90
Jos Hooiveld 0 0 12 3 4 25 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Ascoli defender was a commanding figure and dominated Millwall’s loan star in the number of tackles, interceptions and aerial battles recorded.

Hooiveld has rarely played for the Southampton in the top flight, but his experience at clubs such as Celtic and Copenhagen is not to be scoffed at and he has genuine ability.

It was a good move by Lions boss Ian Holloway to take advantage of his situation with the Saints and bring him in for the Championship scrap.

At Elland Road, he recorded an impressive 12 effective clearances and maintained possession well – illustrated by his 25 accurate passes which surpassed double the amount of his Leeds opponent.

However, this was Leeds boss Neil Redfearn’s day and certainly a step in the right direction for their 25-year-old expensive summer signing from Catania.

Bellusci has been red-carded twice this season, but supporters of the Yorkshire outfit will be hopeful that his previous struggles are behind him and he finds a consistent performance level similar to Saturday's.

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