Thomas Tuchel was delighted with Chelsea's penalty shootout win over Southampton on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge as they booked their place in the quarter final draw.
It was a far from straight forward night for the Blues in west London. Che Adams brought the scores level in the 47th minute with an easy tap in from yards out after Kai Havertz put Chelsea ahead three minutes before the interval with a header.
It went the distance, as it did against Aston Villa in the previous round, and it was the same outcome. Chelsea won 4-3 and have not put themselves in the hat for December's last-eight ties.
Chelsea were heavily changed, many enforced, but Tuchel was pleased with the performances of his players despite several injury problems affecting his team selection.
Here's every word the Chelsea boss said following the shootout win:
"It was an intense match of football, nice to watch for the spectators. It was an open fight, an intense match. We did a good shootout, a lot of quality. Kepa saved one, it was a miss too. There were a lot of changes. Unfortunately yesterday we lost Azpi with an injury, Andreas told us he could not play because he had tooth surgery and then Ruben. We missed three players that maybe would have started. I liked the energy today, it was a good game."
"Azpi injured his shoulder, let's see. We hope he will be fit, he is a tough guy. Maybe he will be fit Saturday. Ruben has a pain in his hip, in his joint. Andreas had surgery and should be fine to train Thursday."
On Kepa's performance:
"When everyone thinks about stoppage time and penalties it is a dangerous moment, you can lose concentration. It was important that Kepa kept us in the game with the double header save from the set pieces."
"Was a good match, a huge step in the right direction for him. I am happy. We thought maybe he would be struggling with the intensity at the 70th minute but he got better and better, had chances and shots. We thought let’s keep him and give him the minutes. It was a good step for him."
On next round:
"I just said that now we have nine or 10 games in December. That’s our own fault but we hate to lose. We go out and play to win. All credit to the guys, they gave everything. We have one day off mentally and physically then two days to prepare for Newcastle."