Scoring three-ly

Ruben Loftus-Cheek continues to go from strength to strength as one of English football’s bright young talents, with his form in front of goal especially impressive in recent weeks.

His ability to find the back of the net has really caught the eye since Loftus-Cheek returned to the first-team fold under Maurizio Sarri at the start of the current campaign, with his six goals so far in all competitions during 2018/19 already triple his previous best in a single season, having scored twice both for Chelsea as an emerging talent in 2015/16 and again on loan at Crystal Palace last term, despite making 17 and 25 appearances in those two seasons, respectively, compared to 10 so far this time around.

However, even more impressively, Loftus-Cheek has hit the net on his last three consecutive Premier League appearances, after his deflected shot from outside the box bounced past Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patricio to open the scoring at Molineux on Sunday.

A week earlier, the midfielder had put our victory over Fulham to bed by finishing off a fine team move to put us two goals ahead with six minutes left on the clock and his previous Premier League match, the 4-0 win at Burnley, saw him come off the bench to get another late goal, this time finishing from close range in injury time to complete the scoring at Turf Moor.

Add to that the Europa League hat-trick he managed as he ran the show in the 3-1 victory over BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge just three days before that trip to Burnley and it is clear Loftus-Cheek has developed quite an eye for goal.

However, he isn’t the only Blues player to have managed the feat of scoring on three consecutive Premier League appearances this season. The most recent was another England international midfielder Ross Barkley, in October.

Our number eight got Chelsea’s second goal of that 4-0 win over Burnley to make it three in a row, having earlier come off the bench himself to grab our dramatic injury-time equaliser to draw 2-2 with Manchester United at the Bridge and get the second goal of our 3-0 victory at Southampton. To underline his excellent form that month, Barkley also set up the opening goals in those wins over the Saints and the Clarets.

The other is Eden Hazard, who came back from the summer’s World Cup in brilliant form. After assists in his first two league games of the season, the Belgian then scored in his next three, getting five goals across those three matches in total.

First he set us on our way to victory away to a stubborn Newcastle United side by converting from the penalty spot with his usual calm, and then drove the ball past former Blues team-mate Asmir Begovic from a tight angle to wrap-up the 2-0 win over Bournemouth. The best was saved for last, though, as he put in a devastating performance to put Cardiff City to the sword at the Bridge, hitting a hat-trick as we recorded a 4-1 win.

But, while Loftus-Cheek may not be the only person to have scored in three consecutive Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season, could he become the first to find the net in four games in a row when Manchester City visit the Bridge?