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Thomas Tuchel speaks out over Saul’s nightmare Chelsea debut: ‘Some big mistakes…’

Thomas Tuchel speaks out over Saul’s nightmare Chelsea debut: ‘Some big mistakes…’


Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has provided his take on the difficult debut endured by new signing Saul Niguez on Saturday evening.

Big Rom at the double

Tuchel’s men were of course back in Premier League action a little less than 24 hours ago.

In their first outing on the back of the international break, the Blues welcomed Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge, aiming to bounce back from a stalemate with Liverpool last time out.

And, when all was said and done in West London, return to winning ways is precisely what Chelsea managed.

Despite Villa having held their own, and even created a series of presentable opportunities, the European champions simply proved too strong, en route to an eventual 3-0 final scoreline.

Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the capital, his first-ever goal at Stamford Bridge, before Man of the Match Mateo Kovacic made it two early in the 2nd-half.

And there was even time for Lukaku to add some gloss to the scoreline late on, lashing home a wonderful finish from the edge of the area to guide Chelsea to the summit of the English top-flight.

‘He struggled’

Amid an otherwise fine day for the Pensioners, though, one concern was forthcoming for Tuchel and co. on the personnel front.

This did not come in the form of an injury, but rather the performance of Saul Niguez.

Spanish international Saul was of course a late window arrival at Stamford Bridge, after Atletico Madrid agreed to farm the under-performing midfield talent out on loan for the 2021/22 campaign.

If his first outing in Chelsea colours is anything to go by, though, then Saul remains some way off the pace required of a Premier League regular in the middle of the park.

The 26-year-old was thrown in from the off versus Villa, only to be hooked just 45 minutes in, after continuously surrendering possession in dangerous areas of the pitch.

In turn, speaking in the aftermath of the clash, it came as little surprise when Thomas Tuchel was drawn on the first appearance of the latest addition to his squad.

And the German was not shy in admitting that Saul majorly ‘struggled’, albeit whilst taking full responsibility for the situation:

‘I had the feeling that he struggled. There were some big mistakes, passing mistakes, and he struggled with the intensity. You could see he isn’t fully adapted.’

‘It’s completely my responsibility. I had the feeling he could jump in for us and play at that level. I [then] thought it was maybe better to change him, but it doesn’t change anything [about how I see him].’

Tuchel continued:

‘It’s very hard. You can either do it or not do it. I told him before it was my responsibility if it does not work out for the matter of your life. He struggled a bit, created some half-chances for Aston Villa.’


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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

Chelsea betting odds, next game:

Watford vs Chelsea odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Watford vs Chelsea Full time result
Watford vs Chelsea Result/Both teams score Yes No
Watford 14/1 12/1
Chelsea 11/5
Draw 6/1 12/1
Watford vs Chelsea Correct Score
Watford vs Chelsea Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Romelu Lukaku6/4 6/4 4/6
Kai Havertz12/5 12/5 6/5
Callum Hudson-Odoi10/3 10/3 13/8
Hakim Ziyech10/3 10/3 13/8
Timo Werner10/3 10/3 13/8

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 12 26 29
2 Liverpool FC 13 28 28
3 Manchester City 12 19 26
4 West Ham United 12 9 23
5 Arsenal FC 13 -2 23
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 0 20
7 Tottenham Hotspur 12 -6 19
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 13 -2 18
9 Manchester United 12 -1 17
10 Crystal Palace 13 0 16
11 Aston Villa 13 -3 16
12 Everton FC 12 -3 15
13 Leicester City 12 -5 15
14 Southampton FC 13 -7 14
15 Brentford FC 12 -1 13
16 Watford FC 12 -4 13
17 Leeds United 13 -8 12
18 Burnley FC 12 -6 9
19 Norwich City 13 -20 9
20 Newcastle United 13 -14 6

Premier League 21/22

Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 5
King, Joshua Watford FC 5
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Raphinha Leeds United 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5
James, Reece Chelsea FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 4
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 4
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 4
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 4
Benteke, Christian Crystal Palace 4
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 4
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 4
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 4