Chelsea maintained their unbeaten start to the 2021/22 Premier League season by defeating Aston Villa 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.
A brace from the club’s most expensive signing Romelu Lukaku and a strike from midfielder Mateo Kovacic secured victory for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
It was far from the best team performance by the Champions League holders in recent times, though.
The scoreline certainly flattered Chelsea, with Villa mighty unlucky not to score at least one goal at Stamford Bridge.
Dean Smith’s side mustered six shots on target throughout the course of the game, but an inspired Edouard Mendy made sure the hosts kept yet another clean sheet.
Chelsea’s sub-par performance was likely down to the fact that Tuchel decided to make a number of changes for the fixture.
Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa | Football Terrace
One of them saw deadline day arrival Saul Niguez come into the midfield and sadly, the Spaniard had a bit of a shocker.
Unsurprisingly, he lasted just 45 minutes, with Tuchel replacing him with the experienced Jorginho for the second period of the game.
So just how bad was Saul against Villa?
Well, a compilation of his performance has emerged and it doesn’t exactly look great for the Spain international.
Take a look for yourself…
Video: Saul’s ‘highlights’ vs Aston Villa.
Saul looked completely lost at Stamford Bridge and he was very lucky that Villa didn’t properly capitalise on one of his many errors.
After the game, Tuchel admitted that he had made a big mistake by throwing the 26-year-old in at the deep end.
“It was hard to do but he had some big mistakes, misplaced passes, errors,” the Chelsea manager replied when asked why Saul was hauled off at half-time.
“He struggled with the intensity. You could see he hasn’t adapted. It’s my responsibility, I thought he could just jump in and play for us.”
Check out Tuchel’s interview in full here…
Video: Tuchel’s interview after beating Villa
Saul himself took to Twitter to tell the world that he was unhappy with his first performance in a Chelsea shirt.
It’s always tough for a player trying to adjust to the harsh demands of the Premier League and many have tried and failed at the first time of asking.
A player with Saul’s talent will get there eventually, though, and when he does, Chelsea will have a seriously good footballer on their hands.