Wolves 3-0 Norwich: Diogo Jota bags a brace and Raul Jimenez adds a third as hosts march towards European qualification with convincing win over doomed Canaries
- Wolves forward Diogo Jota gave the hosts the lead at Molineux on Sunday
- Jota added a second for his side in the 30th minute against Norwich at Molineux
- Raul Jimenez scored a third for Wolves as he volleyed the ball into the empty net
- The win for Wolves moved them to within two points of Manchester United
These are heady times at Wolves, worrying times for Norwich.
Under Nuno Espirito Santo, Wolves have been a revelation. A glut of fixtures has failed to hinder their progress in either the Premier League or the Europa League.
A comprehensive 4-0 win over the Spaniards of Espanyol has all but guaranteed a place in the last 16 in Europe – and the man who did the damage on Thursday night found Molineux fertile territory once again.
Raul Jimenez adds a third for Wolves as he volleys the ball into the empty net past Tim Krul
Wolves forward Jimenez puts the ball under his shirt and kisses it to celebrate the goal
Norwich strikers Teemu Pukki and Josip Drmic look dejected with relegation looming large
Wolves (3-5-2): Patricio 6 Boly 7 Coady 7 Saiss 6 Doherty 6 Dendoncker 6 Neves 7 Moutinho 6 Jonny 6 (sub Vinagre 6 80 mins) Jimenez 6 ( sub Traore 6 72 mins) Jota 8 ( sub Neto 6 63 mins).
Subs not used: Ruddy Podence Gibbs-White Kilman
Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo 8
Norwich (4-4-1-1): Krul 7 Aarons 6 Hanley 7 Godfrey 6 Lewis 6 Rupp 5 ( Buendia 6 58 mins) Tettey 6 McLean 7 Cantwell 6 ( sub Stiepermann 5 83 mins) Duda 5 ( sub Drmic 6 58 mins) Pukki 5.
Subs: Fahrmann Vrancic Trybull Idah
Manager: Daniel Farke 6
Referee: Chris Kavanagh 7
VAR: Michael Oliver.
Man of the Match: Diogo Jota
Season at a glance
Twice Diogo Jota found space in the Norwich area in the first half and twice he scored.
That made it five in a matter of days after his hat trick against Espanyol. He is lethal and the £12million invested by Wolves in the summer of 2018 to bring him from Atletico Madrid is the definitive bargain.
Norwich just could not handle his thrusts from the left wing and he cut inside on 19 minutes to collect a ball passed to him via the midriff of Matt Doherty to put Wolves ahead.
A VAR check ruled out any handball in the build-up and on the half-hour came Jota’s second. Romain Saiss played a cross back across goal and Jot was left to convert from one yard.
It made life that bit tougher for Norwich. They are battling for inclusion in the Premier league fixtures for next season and a return trip to Molineux which will mean they have preserved their status among the elite.
They started Sunday afternoon firmly rooted to the foot of the table with a meagre 18 points with one win in their last 13 league games. To be fair, manger Daniel Farke has not changed his philosophy of attractive, attacking football that is easy on the eye.
Wolves forward Diogo Jota adds a second for his side as the hosts were rampant on Sunday
Jota picks the ball out of the net having scored his second of the game at Molineux
Wolves forward Diogo Jota gives the hosts the lead at Molineux on Sunday afternoon
Jota celebrates with his Wolves team-mates having given his side the lead against Norwich
There is talent on show – Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis have class.
They try to play in an expansive fashion.
One problem – it is points that keep you up, not plaudits.
Espirito Santo has made Wolves highly watchable but with a considerably more positive impact. And his management of Jota is testament to his man management skills.
Wolves have Europe again on Thursday and Espirito Santo wants his star man fresh and fit. After 63 minutes, the job was done and the Portuguese star was replaced by Pedro Neto.
For Norwich it was a cameo of their season. Attractive build-up, neat touches but little – if any – cutting edge. Rui Patricio in the Wolves goal was troubled only rarely.
Wolves striker Jimenez grabs the post after missing a chance during the first half on Sunday
Wolves midfielder Jota looks to pass to a team-mate in the early exchanges on Sunday
Of course, mathematics say that it is not yet Mission Impossible for Farke and his men. But they will need a recovery of monumental proportions to survive and to do that, they will need warriors. Quite simply. They don’t have enough.
For Wolves, the sights are considerably higher. They look organised and are superbly marshalled by Conor Coady with Willy Boly a muscular ally.
And before Jota left the field, he ensured a Wolves victory with a crisp shot in the 50th minute that eluded Krul but struck the post. There was Raul Jimenenz to score from close range.
As a contest, game over.
Norwich striker Pukki attempts a shot on goal under pressure from Romain Saiss
Wolves full back Matt Doherty tries to fend off Norwich left-back Jamal Lewis in the first half
Grant Hanley attempts to take charge of the situation under pressure from Jimenez
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