The Chelsea bench collectively rose to their feet as Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored his third of the night at Stamford Bridge.
It was a deserved standing ovation for a stunning hat-trick that will have pleased but also troubled Maurizio Sarri.
The Italian has so far overlooked Loftus-Cheek since arriving in west London, reducing him to just two starts so far this term.
But Sarri can no longer afford to ignore Loftus-Cheek, not on this evidence. Loftus-Cheek can be overlooked no longer.
The 22-year-old grabbed his first of the game after just 103 seconds into the match when he fired in Davide Zappacosta’s. Loftus-Cheek hadn’t scored for the club since April 2016 but he didn’t have to wait long for his second of the night.
Willian’s corner was put into a central position after eight minutes and Loftus-Cheek showed his strength to hold off a defender to flick the ball into the corner to make it 2-0 Loftus-Cheek doubled his tally of Chelsea goals in one night.
Chelsea had several chances to extend their lead through Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud but the Blues maintained their 2-0 lead until the 54th minute when Loftus-Cheek ensured he’d be going home with the match ball.
The England midfielder picked the ball up in his own half and drove towards the BATE defence before laying it off to Pedro. The Spaniard was upended but the ball broke kindly to Loftus-Cheek, who opened up his body and curled a lovely effort with his right foot into the far corner.
Loftus-Cheek had scored three times for the Blues before tonight but he doubled his tally in a very encouraging 54 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
Culled from metro.co.uk