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English Premiership

Jota at the double as Wolves ease past lowly Norwich

Wolves celebrate Diogo Jota’s second goal in a 3-0 win against Norwich in the Premier League © AFP / GEOFF CADDICK

WOLVERHAMPTON, United Kingdom, Feb 23Diogo Jota scored twice as Wolves comfortably brushed aside rock-bottom Norwich 3-0 at Molineux on Sunday to maintain their push for European football again next season.

After scoring a hat-trick in a 4-0 Europa League thumping of Espanyol on Thursday, Jota took his tally to 14 for the season with both goals in the first half.

Raul Jimenez then poached his 21st of the campaign early in the second period to leave Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in eighth place, two points behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

Norwich are propping up the Premier League, seven points from safety.

The home side were sluggish in the opening stages but from the opening goal in the 19th minute there was only one team in the game as a Norwich side clearly lacking in confidence fell away.

From Leander Dendoncker’s cross from the right, Matt Doherty collected, spun and played in Jota, who followed up with a spin away of his own from his marker before firing a low shot underneath Tim Krul.

The goal eventually stood despite a lengthy VAR check for a potential handball against Doherty in the build-up.

Jota made it 2-0 on the half-hour, tapping home from close range after Romain Saiss drilled the ball across goal.

The game was over as a contest five minutes into the second half, with Dendoncker sending Jimenez forward before a lay-off to Jota, who unleashed a stunning right-foot drive that cannoned off a post.

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Jimenez, though, had followed through with his run to be in the right place to bundle home from close range with Krul stranded.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said his side had managed the game well.

“What’s more important is the belief — the result is what we see afterwards. The energy was required (after playing on Thursday) and the team showed it so good,” he said.

When asked about challenging for a Champions League spot, he said: “We’re going to stay focused because the difficulty is to sustain your performances through the season.

“After that, we’ll see, but it’s about building your team and getting them ready to compete whenever, wherever.”

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