3 Things We Learned as Chelsea Strolled Past BATE Borisov With Comfortable Victory on Thursday

Chelsea's squad players laid down a marker and gave Maurizio Sarri much to contemplate as the Blues claimed a comfortable 3-1 victory at home to BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday.


Sarri made eight changes from the side which drew 2-2 with Manchester United, with a number of fringe players given the opportunity to prove their worth in the Chelsea first team.


Ruben Loftus-Cheek made the headlines as the 22-year-old hit his first senior hat-trick to lead his side to victory, whilst a number of other players impressed as Chelsea eased to victory in some style.


Here is a roundup of three things we learned as Chelsea made it three wins in as many Europa League games this season...

1. Loftus-Cheek Is Ready to Step Up

Having been left out of the Chelsea squad altogether as the Blues drew 2-2 with Manchester United last weekend, the onus was truly on Loftus-Cheek to make the most of his opportunity in Sarri's starting XI against BATE on Thursday night, and the Englishman did not disappoint.


The Europa League has proven to be the platform for Chelsea's less fancied stars to stake their claim and prove their worth to their manager this season. Alvaro Morata's match-winning performance against Videoton last time out has earned the Spaniard a more regular place in Chelsea's Premier League XI since.


Against BATE, it was Loftus-Cheek who rose to the occasion to guide his side to victory and potentially force his way into Sarri's plans. The midfielder was industrious and creative as his excellently executed hat-trick proved once more what great potential the 22-year-old has.


Chelsea's midfield is generally of sound technical competency and tactical discipline, but is often short of offensive thrust and drive, and Loftus-Cheek proved on Thursday that he is primed to provide the solution.

2. Chelsea's Squad Depth Is Key

With Maurizio Sarri clearly keen to make the most of each competition which Chelsea are involved in this season, Chelsea's impressive strength in depth could be crucial to the Blues' hopes of competing on all fronts.


Sarri made eight changes from his previous lineup for the side which took to the field at Stamford Bridge on Thursday and Chelsea's deputy men performed with class and composure befitting of first team regulars.


The likes of Loftus-Cheek, Cesc Fabregas, Emerson Palmieri and Davide Zappacosta all performed especially well among those drafted into the Europa League side, as Sarri flexed the impressive capacity of his ranks. Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill also came in.


With an injury to Eden Hazard and the need to rest the likes of N'Golo Kante and Jorginho following their Premier League exploits a potential problem, Chelsea's men in reserve proved that they are more than capable of stepping up and doing the job with style when needed.

3. Maurizio Sarri Wants Perfection

One thing that becomes increasingly clear with each passing week is that Maurizio Sarri is very much a perfectionist and the Italian is determined to squeeze the very best he can out of his side.


The Chelsea manager appeared most displeased as his side conceded a sloppy consolation goal from BATE Borisov late in the match, as the Blues' defence went to sleep when the visitors delivered a free kick from wide into the box and converted from close range.


Sarri was clearly not impressed with his side's dip in professionalism as his side allowed the visitors a clear route to register a goal, and take some of the shine from Chelsea's comfortable result. The two-goal margin was far from reflective of the huge difference in quality between the sides. Sarri demands improvement, even when the performance was generally strong.


Sarri's meticulous planning, rotation of his side to maintain freshness in the team and a clear set of demands and ideals which are behind his team selection all indicate a very concise approach from the Italian which will surely continue to breed results from his side.