After a dull first half, Chelsea brightened up considerably in the second, and key to that was Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s presence.
The midfielder hadn’t even started the game, and was only brought on out of necessity when N’Golo Kante went off. It took him a while to get into the game, but in that second half he showed exactly why plenty of Chelsea fans were begging for him to be starting this game.
His chronic back problems means that Maurizio Sarri is loathe to start him more than once a week, but when he is as vital to the team as he was today, one can’t countenance leaving him out.
His bursting runs tie the midfield and the attack together, and once again he was on hand to head home the goal that put us ahead in the game.
Sarri on Loftus-Cheek: "He's not just for me but for English football. He's improving every match he can become one of the best midfielders in Europe. He has very great potential and in the next season he will be for sure one of the best midfielders, not only in England." #CFC pic.twitter.com/1dkd3xLdNM
— The Blues (@TheBlues___) May 5, 2019
We went on to add a couple more, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that it was Ruben who made the breakthrough. His role, as much as his fitness permits, is as important anyone’s in Sarri’s team.
We need to be thinking about building our team around him, no matter who the manager is. Luckily, it seems Sarri has finally found the way to mould him into a role that suits his setup.