Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel went back on a promise he reportedly made to Saul Niguez before luring him to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day. Despite being given assurances about playing in his preferred position of central-midfield, the Spaniard featured on the left in a much-changed side against Aston Villa.
With wholesale changes made by both managers, neither team could get into a particular rhythm during the first-half.
The game exploded into life after the break, however, with 19-year-old Cameron Archer equalising for Villa after Timo Werner opened the scoring.
With nothing between the sides, it went all the way to penalties when misses by Ashley Young and Marvellous Nakamba settled the tie in Chelsea’s favour.
Sensationally, Kepa Arrizabalaga repeated his UEFA Super Cup heroics to put the Blues in the fourth round draw, but it was not all sunshine and rainbows in west London.
Saul made his debut against Villa in the Premier League less than two weeks ago, although he was hooked at half-time after a series of misplaced passes.
On Wednesday night, he was given a chance to redeem himself against the same opposition, but Tuchel did not play him in his preferred position.