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HomeBundesligaPacesetter and provocateur: Bayers Tella earns extra praise

Pacesetter and provocateur: Bayers Tella earns extra praise

Bayer’s Nathan Tella is once again allowed to play from the start in the 1:0 away win against Union Berlin and immediately becomes an important factor. The track player picks up the pace and becomes an effective provocateur

It has been discussed many times over the past weeks and months: Bayer’s Xabi Alonso can rely on his professionals. They get annoyed when a colleague is given preference, of course. But when they are needed, they are there in most cases, contributing their strengths. Nathan Tella only served as further proof on Saturday.

In the last three competitive matches, the 24-year-old had had to start on the bench, only coming on as a wild card and being one of those hardship cases that Xabi Alonso has to moderate every week. However, when Leverkusen’s coach once again named him in the starting eleven for the game at Union Berlin, Tella justified this nomination, stepped up to become an important offensive factor – and took his chance

Tella poses many problems for Union’s Gosens

Track player Tella revitalized his right side, showing his pace, his one-on-one skills and his overview. It was Tella who crossed accurately to Borja Iglesias in the 15th minute. And it was Tella who cleverly laid the ball off to Alejandro Grimaldo at the back in the 28th minute. The fact that both the one and the other Spaniard did not score to make it 1:0 for the almost-champions was ultimately out of Tella’s hands.

“On the right,” praised Bayer midfield strategist Granit Xhaka afterwards, “he made a lot of steam.” Robin Gosens had a few problems with Leverkusen’s pace-setter. And because Union’s defensive man was yellow-carded early on, the plan was to take him out of the game completely. “Nathan has the speed,” said Xhaka, “so we wanted to provoke him again so that he would get a yellow card. “

Extra praise from Xabi Alonso

And lo and behold: provocateur Tella passed Gosens again shortly before the break and could only be stopped with a late tackle. Union’s number 6 was sent off and Bayer were a man up from then on. An “important moment” (Xabi Alonso) for the Werkself, who scored the only goal of the day shortly afterwards. Of course: “When you’re outnumbered and take the lead just before half-time,” said Xhaka, “it makes the second half a bit easier.”

Tella therefore played a major part in this 1:0 victory – and deserved extra praise. “He played very well,” said Xabi Alonso. “Nathan is always dangerous in one-on-one situations”. And the way he tackled Gosens was “very good”. In short: he deserves to play – just like Jeremie Frimpong.

At Union, Tella had to leave the pitch with cramps

Frimpong is known to be the top dog on the right flank. Tella, who can also play further forward, must therefore hope for his chance every week. One thing is clear: at Union, the skilled winger was once again able to promote himself. And there was no dramatic reason why he had to leave the pitch after 79 minutes in Berlin. After all his sprints, he was simply suffering from cramp. Xabi Alonso will therefore still be able to rely on him. Tella is ready when he’s needed

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