It was a wonderful performance from Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the Blues defeated Dynamo Kiev 5-0 and 8-0 on aggregate to go through to the quarterfinals of the Europa League.
The 23-year-old got his second assist of the season when Olivier Giroud opened the scoring five minutes into the encounter, adding to the six goals he has scored for Chelsea this season.
Loftus-Cheek was a beast in midfield and showed strength, stamina, skill, amazing runs all in one, and the academy product was just too good for the Ukrainians to handle.
It was his first start since early January, and Maurizio Sarri is convinced Loftus-Cheek can become “one of the best midfielders in Europe” after his brilliant performance.
“He did very well. He is improving in the last month,” Sarri told BT Sport after Thursday’s victory. “He has been able to train after the problem with the back. He had a wonderful match and I’m really happy he could play for 90 minutes.
“His potential as a player is very, very, high. Physically, technically and tactically he is improving, he can become one of the best midfielders not only in England but in Europe.”
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has also revealed that Loftus-Cheek can go on to become one of the best midfielders in the country, and urged the young midfielder to keep working hard so he can nail down a place in the Chelsea side.
“He’s a fantastic player,” the Belgian told Sky Sports News. “We all know. I’ve trained with him for five years.
“I saw him when he was young, now he is not so young but he can still improve. But in the future I think he will be one of the best midfielders in the country.”
Loftus-Cheek assisted Olivier Giroud to score Chelsea’s first goal as early as the fifth minute, and Sarri revealed after the game that he was pleased with the team’s start.
“We started very well,” Sarri said.
“We wanted to start in this way because it was important to score after the result in Stamford Bridge. We were able to score after five minutes. For the opponent it was a difficult situation.
“We played a very good first half. In the second we managed the result. It was a wonderful performance for 90 minutes.”