Tella blows Leicester away in PL2

By SFC Media time Sat 12 Dec Saints vs Leicester City
Photo by Isabelle Field | Nathan Tella
Sat 12 Dec 2PM
Premier League 2 - Division 1
Southampton
5
Leicester City
2
Tella [7' 26' 29' 41'] Johnson [45+2']
goal
Muskwe [20'] Gray [49']
Jankewitz (20') Valery (49') Watts (90+3')
yellow card
Nelson (27')
Referee: Matthew Russell | Venue: Snows Stadium | Attendance: 0

A first half of sheer dominance, led by four Nathan Tella goals, secured Southampton’s B team three points against Leciester City in Premier League 2.

Tella’s rampage started inside seven minutes, finding the bottom corner after being well spotted by Will Smallbone’s through ball.

Tella’s second followed just six minutes after Leicester’s equaliser, converting the penalty he won after a surge into the box from the left wing.

The hat-trick goal came in minute 29, cutting inside from the left once more with Leicester left trailing.

He wasn’t done there, adding a fourth in the 41st minute with a sumptuous volley, before Tyreke Johnson got in on the act to cap off a dominant first half in stoppage time.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: during the Premier League 2 match between Southampton B Team and Leicester City at Snows Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Nathan Tella celebrates on a dominant afternoon for him and his side.

Saints once again fielded a side with a mixture of youth and first team experience.

Tella skippered the side, joining Tyreke Johnson up front and supported by Alex Jankewitz and Smallbone in midfield.

Amongst an experienced back line for the hosts was Kayne Ramsay, Yan Valery and Jake Vokins; all looking for vital minutes as they looked to return to the first team matchday squad.

The standout name on the Foxes’ team sheet was winger Demarai Gray, who holds over 130 league appearances for Leicester since his arrival in 2016.

Saints asserted their dominance early on and got their reward just seven minutes into the fixture.

Will Ferry did superbly well to get in front of his man and win possession after a quick who break for the visitors.

The Irishman then found this international counterpart Smallbone in midfield, who turned and threaded a superb through ball into the onrushing Tella, the forward finding the bottom corner.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: during the Premier League 2 match between Southampton B Team and Leicester City at Snows Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Nathan Tella and Tyreke Johnson were both amongst the goals on Saturday.


Saints had a couple of opportunities to extend their lead soon after the breakthrough; Caleb Watts hitting a low shot from range before Johnson’s effort from a tight angle was turned around by keeper Jakub Stolarczyk.

But for all the positive possession it was Leicester who would be next to strike.

Gray’s deep free kick was headed back across goal by Callum Wright, finding an unmarked Admiral Muskwe who made no mistake from close range.

Leicester came so close to adding a second through Ben Nelson, whose header rocketed the bar before Kingsley Latham did well to palm away Wright’s effort on the rebound.

But Saints and Tella responded, the winger surging into the box and baiting Jack Wakeley into a clumsy challenge which won his side a penalty.

Up stepped Tella, who made no mistake from the box despite Stolarczyk diving the right way.

A further set piece of their own almost saw Saints add a third; Vokins producing a deep ball to David Agbontohoma at the back post who headed just over.

20201212 Southampton v Leicester
It took just 22 minutes for Nathan Tella to complete his hat-trick.

It took just three minutes from the penalty for the Tella show to continue.

In the 29th minute the youngster burst into the box from that left wing, before converting for a 22-minute hat-trick.

The Foxes looked to respond and thought they had done through Ali Reghba who found the back of the net, only for the offside flag to deny him.

But the Tella show refused to stop, the youngster latching onto Ferry’s pass and volleying home with such confidence.

With the half coming to a close Leicester will have been looking forward to some oncoming rest bite.

But Johnson made sure their mountain got that little bit steeper in first-half stoppage time, rounding off a well worked assisted by Caleb Watts’s back heel and finding the bottom corner.

Leicester went some way to clawing back at that mountain early into the second half, Gray’s free kick finding the far-left corner.

20201212 Southampton v Leicester
Kingsley Latham makes a superb stop to halt Leicester's second half fight back.

The Foxes were understandably fired up following the break and Gray’s quick second half goal will only have added to that.

But Saints continued to look a threat on the break; Johnson finding space in the box and feeding the ball out to an unmarked Smallbone, who unleashed a fierce strike which Stolarcyzk did well to match.

Muskwe looked to add another for the Foxes who saw a lot more of the ball second 45, but his effort was well matched by Latham just past the hour mark.

Wright was next to try his luck on the volley but he couldn’t find the target as Saints began to show their defensive capabilities.

Another involvement for Muskwe came 15 minutes from time, heading over following a set-piece put back into the mixer by Wright in almost a carbon copy of the first-half equaliser.

Saints continued to look dangerous when countering, Ferry the latest to have an effort as he forced Stolarczyk into a strong hand at his near post.

Ferry had the better of his defensive partner Callum Hulme all game, emphasising such a fact four minutes from time with a burst into the box; his cross ultimately cut out.

20201212 Southampton v Leicester
Jake Vokins bursts away from his man during the second half.

The majority of the second 45 became a stop-start affair; Leicester conceding fouls as they sought out a response, with Saints more than happy to take them as they looked to see out the game.

But for all their second half possession the Foxes failed to get past a stubborn Saints defence, showing a different side to their game during the second half.

Ultimately it was a richly deserved three points for the hosts, who next up host Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium in January.

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Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Leicester City
  • Possession (%)
    53
    comparison angle
    47
  • Shots
    17
    comparison angle
    10
  • Shots on target
    11
    comparison angle
    4
  • Corners
    6
    comparison angle
    4
  • Passes Complete
    207
    comparison angle
    180

Southampton PL2

1
Kingsley Latham (GK)
2
Yan Valery yellow card
4
David Agbontohoma
3
Jake Vokins
5
Kayne Ramsay
11
Will Ferry
6
Alexandre Jankewitz yellow card
8
William Smallbone
replace Benni Smales-Braithwaite (76′)
10
Caleb Watts yellow card
7
Nathan Tella (C) goal goal goal goal
replace Kgaogelo Chauke (72′)
9
Tyreke Johnson goal
13
Tommy Scott
14
Kgaogelo Chauke
12
Pascal Kpohomouh
15
Lucas Defise
16
Benni Smales-Braithwaite

Leicester City PL2

1
Jakub Stolarczyk (GK)
2
Adam Leathers
replace Darragh O'Connor (45′)
6
Jack Wakely
3
Shane Flynn
5
Ben Nelson yellow card
replace Will Russ (66′)
4
Callum Hulme
10
Thanawat Suengchitthawon
7
Demarai Gray goal
8
Callum Wright (C)
11
Ali Reghba
replace Jacob Wakeling (45′)
9
Admiral Muskwe goal
15
Kasey McAteer
13
Chituru Odunze
12
Will Russ
16
Darragh O'Connor
14
Jacob Wakeling
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