Thomas Tuchel Explains Why Saul Was Left on the Bench Against Zenit


Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has given his reasoning as to why Saul Niguez did not start the game against Zenit on Tuesday. 

The Blues were victorious in their first Champions League game since being crowned Champions in May. 

Both Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic were selected over Saul in the Chelsea midfield, with the Spaniard dropping to the bench.

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Speaking before the game against Zenit, Tuchel justified his team selection and confirmed why Saul failed to make the starting XI.

He said: "It is not the moment after only two days to put him (Saul) in again. 

"We trust him, it is no problem, but Jorginho is fresh, Kova had a fantastic game against Villa so it was more a decision for these two rather than against Saul. 

"We have some strong guys on the bench and he is one of them."


Saul, who joined Chelsea on Deadline Day, is on a season-long loan from Atletico Madrid, who were crowned La Liga champions in May.

The 26-year-old started in Chelsea's 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, but appeared to struggle with the pace and intensity of the Premier League on his debut and was subsequently subbed off for Jorginho at half time.

The Blues' other midfielder was Croatia international Kovacic, who ended up assisting Romelu Lukaku for the first goal and grabbing himself his first Stamford Bridge goal for his side's second of the game.

Chelsea beat Zenit 1-0 in Tuesday's Champions League group stage fixture with Romelu Lukaku providing the goods once again for the Blues, making it four goals in four appearances this season for the Belgian.

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