Chelsea 3 BATE 1: Loftus-Cheek hat-trick sends message to Sarri

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But the England midfielder has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League this season, and Sarri said only defensive improvement was likely to lead to more chances for Loftus-Cheek. "In the offensive phase he was wonderful", the Italian told a news conference.

'If I'm him, I'm hoping he takes me off before the 90 minutes is up, ' Hoddle told BT Sport after the game.

"I think my debut was still more special, just because you dream of that as a kid".

Loftus-Cheek's hat-trick was the first by a Chelsea player in Europe since Didier Drogba's against Levski Sofia in 2006 - and the first by an Englishman since Harry Kane for Tottenham against Asteras Tripolis four years ago.

Willian then volleyed over the crossbar with an awkward volley and sent a tame attempt down the middle for Scherbitski to deal with, while Loftus-Cheek glanced wide from a promising position from Zappacosta's latest cutback later in the first half. Only Kante is a defensive midfielder.

"I need to keep up good habits, eating well, sleeping well, training well and hopefully my opportunity will come".

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'The first thing in my head is to keep training well, even though I'm playing well it's really important to train as hard as I can to keep fitness up and keep sharp for when times like this do come when I get an opportunity to start or come on.

"For a manager who has been in the game for a long time, it would be daft for me not to take on what he is telling me".

After the speculation surrounding his future at Stamford Bridge since the summer transfer window closed, Loftus-Cheek needed to make a statement in order to reaffirm his status as a member of Maurizio Sarri's squad. I can only put 11 players in the starting side, but I have 28 players.

"We need to work and they have to improve in the defensive phase".

"If Chelsea are to have a sustained challenge, then Loftus-Cheek is going to have an impact at some point in the season".

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