Summer signings Samu Saiz and Gjanni Alioski once again hogged the plaudits as Leeds United made it two wins from three games, with a 2-0 triumph away at Yorkshire rivals Barnsley on Saturday afternoon.
But the impressive performance of Gaetano Berardi at left-back should not go unmentioned. The versatile Swiss may be one of the most popular player on the Elland Road terraces, but even the most ardent Berardi enthusiast would have struggled to defend his recent displays.
Wolves clearly targeted him as the weak link in Leeds’ comprehensive 4-1 battering at Molineux on Tuesday night, with mistakes creeping into the usually solid and consistent defender’s game.
In fact, prior to Leeds’ tricky trip to Oakwell on Saturday, there was no shortage of Leeds supporters clamouring for the seldom-seen Manchester United loanee Cameron Borthwick-Jackson to be handed a run-out at left-back in his place.
Still can't get over how Borthwick Jackson isn't getting a game at left back, he's miles better than Berardi, don't care what anyone says— Marcus (@marcusbrookes_) November 22, 2017
Can Cameron Borthwick-Jackson possibly be any worse at left back that Berardi & Anita. Give him a chance #LUFC— Jack Timms (@jacktimms92) November 25, 2017
Imagine how piss poor Borthwick-Jackson must be in training.... like worse than Klich.... to be the only LB in our squad and cant even get into the team ahead of Berardi— James Courtney (@jcourts1991) November 25, 2017
Don't see this team being picked but I'd go with— Stephen Barry (@StephenBarry20) November 25, 2017
Lonergan Ayling Pennington Jansson Borthwick-Jackson Anita Shaughnessy Phillips Alioski Ekuban Saiz
Wiedwald Berardi Cooper O'Kane Sacko Hernandez Roofe
Bring back Weidwald, drop Berardi, drop Hernandez. Thanks @LUFC— Liam (@liammkirby) November 22, 2017
It almost goes without saying, then, that a much improved performance against Paul Heckingbottom’s Barnsley could hardly have been better timed.
Berardi was back to his dependable and solid self, winning his personal battle with the hosts’ dangerman Adam Hammill and setting Leeds on their way to a first clean sheet since the 3-0 win at Bristol City over a month ago.