An electric performance from second half substitute Diogo Jota sees Wolves grab a 4-0 win over Besiktas, finishing second in their Europa League group on 13 points.
A quiet first half at Molineux was completely turned on its head with an explosive restart for the home-side. Jota came off the bench to replace Ruben Neves in the 56th minute and made an immediate impact, finding the back of the net just 60 seconds later.
It took the Portuguese forward just 11 minutes to bag his hat-trick – the fastest trio of goals scored in the competition since 2014 when Claudiu Keseru set the new record in 10 minutes, 56 seconds.
Jota’s incredible performance is the first time a substitute has scored a Europa League hat-trick since Steven Gerrard in 2010 against Napoli.
Leander Dendoncker got in on the scoring action in the 67th minute, nodding home a Joao Moutinho corner-kick. Jota’s third of the night came a minute later to see the game off.
The devastating scoreline over Besiktas allowed for a senior debut for 18-year-old Owen Otasowie, who almost added his name to the scoresheet after his headed shot flicked over the crossbar.
After coming off the bench to completely change the game, Jota is the first Wolves player to score a hat-trick in a European competition in 48 years. The previous statistic belonged to Derek Dougan during the 1971 UEFA Cup.
Despite the enormous scoreline, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side will settle for being runners-up in their group, one point behind leaders SC Braga.
Slovan Bratislava and Besiktas are both eliminated from the competition, the Turkish side finish bottom of the group, suffering five losses with two of those at the hands of Wolves.
The draw for the Europa League Round of 32 fixtures will take place on Monday at 12pm.
Featured from our writers: