10 aerial duels won, 17 clearances: Leeds United star phenomenal in victory

Elland Road pitchside

Sol Bamba was a rock at the back for Leeds United on Saturday.

Leeds United’s Sol Bamba was in inspired form as he helped his side claim a 1-0 victory over relegation threatened Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

The Ivorian international centre-back joined Leeds on loan during the January transfer window and his introduction has notably coincided with the club’s impressive turn of form.

He was instrumental in the recent victory at Middlesbrough, but Saturday’s display was arguably even better as he led from example and provided a defensive shield in the face of a flurry of Wigan attacks.

  TacklesInterceptionsEffective ClearancesAerial Duels WonBall RecoveriesMins Played
Sol Bamba 4 3 17 10 5 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the 30-year-old was extremely busy throughout but rarely put a foot wrong, which spurred his side on to victory.

He recorded four tackles, three interceptions and a whopping 17 effective clearances – more than any other player on the pitch, and by quite some distance too.

Moreover, he regularly picked up the second balls – illustrated by his five ball recoveries – and used his 6ft 3inch frame to good effect, winning as many as 10 aerial duels.

Despite Wigan’s lowly league position, the 2013 FA Cup winners are by no means pushovers but they simply couldn’t find a way through the visitors’ rear-guard.

Bamba was excellent, but so were his teammates and alongside Giuseppe Bellusci he has formed one of the toughest defensive partnerships in the Championship.

Alex Mowatt's fine finish lifts the Yorkshire outfit up to 13th spot in the table, 16 points clear of the relegation zone following a run of seven victories in 10 matches.

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