Saul Niguez was satisfied with Chelsea's Carabao Cup progression into the quarter-finals after a penalty shootout win against Southampton on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old has rarely featured for the Blues this term since his loan switch from Atletico Madrid. He struggled in his early days at Chelsea against Aston Villa on his debut and has featured barely since.
Thomas Tuchel has been waiting for the right time and gave no indication as to whether Saul would play against Southampton. But he did. He was one of six changes to the side in west London, partnering up with Mateo Kovacic in midfield.
Saul grew into the game and had several chances in the game to score. He had a header well saved by Fraser Forster in the first half, before striking a great chance wide in the second half. Forster was then on hand to deny the Spaniard once again as his curling effort looked destined for the top corner.
It was a much improved performance from Saul and he was pleased to see his side progress as they won 4-3 on penalties after it ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.
"Work done team!" he wrote on social media after the game.
Tuchel was also extremely complimentary of his display against the Saints.
"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."
More Chelsea Coverage
- Report: Chelsea in talks with Cesar Azpilicueta over new contract
- PSG defender Marquinhos denies Chelsea transfer rumours
- Report: Andreas Christensen set for further talks with Chelsea regarding new contract after feeling 'undervalued'