With Eden Hazard and Jorginho watching on from the stands it gave Loftus-Cheek a golden opportunity to show Maurizio Sarri what he can deliver in the attacking midfield role and the 22-year-old stepped up to the mark by netting a wonderful three goals on the night.
Loftus-Cheek killed off the tie for good from Chelsea's first opening of the second period, though, by side footing the ball into the bottom corner from just outside the box.
Andreas Christensen, Gary Cahill, Victor Moses and Loftus-Cheek could all seek moves away from Stamford Bridge in January if they are not afforded more minutes, but Sarri is not convinced he will be able to satisfy everyone.
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The 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. "We are trying to solve the problem for Sunday".
Asked if he could remember a specific mistake he had made and learned from during his time as a coach in Italy, Sarri replied: "There are 100, I think". He's improving but also he needs to improve the defensive phase.
"First of all, as I said after the match, we were wrong", Sarri said.
Sarri said after the game Loftus-Cheek has "adapted" to his football philosophy, having so far given the player just 33 Premier League minutes this season, but that the England global must improve defensively to earn a regular starting role. "We can try and we will work, but I need the cooperation of the players". My problem remains the same.