Loftus-Cheek scores hat-trick in Chelsea win

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup may seem a long time ago as the United Kingdom winter draws closer but Loftus-Cheek's confident display of attacking link play and near-constant endeavour brought back memories of his best moments for England in Russian Federation.

Maurizio Sarri has made eight changes to the side that held Manchester United to a draw last weekend as Chelsea prepare to face BATE Borisov in UEFA Europa League.

Willian produced another masterful creative display, buzzing around the BATE box to fine effect, and nearly helped extend Chelsea's lead still further with a sumptuous through-ball angled for Olivier Giroud to chase.

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But Sarri can no longer afford to ignore Loftus-Cheek, not on this evidence.

Jorginho and N'Golo Kante look to have nailed two of the three positions available, but competing for the final place are Ross Barkley, Cesc Fabregas, Mateo Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek.

Asked if he would be disappointed if he did not start against Burnley on Sunday, Loftus-Cheek said: "I'm not thinking about that. I'm back on track and I hope I'll continue to improve, score goals and get assists". I need an improvement in the defensive phase.

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I need to come and get on the ball, connect with the midfielders and the wingers, and then I need to attack the box after that - but not to be in the box all the time. "In the future I may be able to put [Ross] Barkley and Loftus in the same starting XI".

Chelsea hardly had to shift into third gear to chug past their misfiring visitors and cement top spot in Group L, Aleksei Rios' late header scant consolation for the Belarusians.

Sarri added: 'I know the fans love Ruben, of course, because he was in the academy. "We can try and we will work, but I need the cooperation of the players".

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"This match is not a big problem, because we have to play after five days, from the last match", said Sarri.