Chelsea managed a 3-0 win over Aston Villa with Romelu Lukaku scoring twice and Mateo Kovacic getting on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge yet Thomas Tuchel’s men were not at their best
Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowTuchel outlines why Chelsea signed Saul on loanByCallum VurleySports Reporter
- 11:20, 12 Sep 2021
Saul Niguez has admitted his debut was not what he expected to be like after a difficult 45 minutes on Saturday.
The Spaniard was thrown straight into the starting line-up for Chelsea as they faced Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
After signing from Atletico Madrid on loan, the 26-year-old has arrived with real pedigree having helped them win La Liga the season before.
But Saul had a nightmare debut that led to him being roped off at half-time and replaced with by Jorginho in a brutal decision from Thomas Tuchel.
He was guilty of giving the ball away too many times, failing to press and dallying in possession and being caught out.
Saul endured a poor first game in a Chelsea shirt
Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)
On another day, one of his errors would have resulted in a goal but Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva bailed him out on more than one occasion.
There were at least three glaring blunders where Saul passed the ball straight to a Villa player to put them through on goal.
And the Spain international has admitted that his debut came unexpectedly after posting on his personal Instagram page.
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"Wasn’t the expected debut," Saul wrote on the social media site, along with a picture of him with his new teammates.
"Really happy with my first game and victory with the team. Incredible to see Stamford Bridge full of Blues."
Tuchel was just as ruthless in his press conference as he was with his decision-making, admitting Saul did not have a good game before being hauled off.
He said: "Well, it was hard to do it but I had the feeling he struggled, he had some big mistakes, passing mistakes and errors and he struggled with the intensity and you could see that he has not fully adapted.
"So it is completely my responsibility, I thought that he can maybe just jump in and play for us on that level.
"So I thought it is maybe just better to have Jorginho who has a close connection with Thiago [Silva] to control the game there a bit more."
Tuchel was forced to substitute Saul at half-time
Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
Chelsea were in fine form otherwise, though, with Romelu Lukaku proving lethal once again at a pivotal time.
The Belgian got an early goal after a fantastic pass from Mateo Kovacic to score for the first time at Stamford Bridge in his career.
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Kovacic went from provider to scorer moments into the second-half when he jumped on a Tyrone Mings error to net just his third Blues goal.
Lukaku grabbed another in the dying moments with an exquisite finish, rifling home a Cesar Azpilicueta pass into the roof of the net.
Chelsea face Zenit St Petersburg next in the Champions League at home as they look to defend their European crown.
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