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Jota at the double as Wolves in cruise control against Norwich – report

Wolves 3 (Jota 19, 30, Jimenez 50) Norwich 0.

Diogo Jota continued his scoring streak as Wolves strolled to their most comfortable Premier League win of the season against hapless Norwich.

Jota’s double took his tally to five goals in four days after his hat-trick in the 4-0 victory over Espanyol in the Europa League, while he set up Raul Jimenez for his 21st of the season in all competitions.

Wolves actually emerged from a sticky start where they could have conceded to score from their first attack in the 19th minute.

They also kept their fourth consecutive clean sheet for the first time since October 2018 on a day when captain and sweeper Conor Coady made his 100th consecutive league appearance stretching back to that month.

But from Jota’s opening strike, they never looked back as the Canaries capitulated.

After all their frustrations at the hands of VAR, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side actually had the benefit of it twice being on their side.

The video assistant correctly ruled no handball against Matt Doherty in the build-up to the first goal, then no offside against Jota for the second.

But it failed to stop muted celebrations of both goals as home fans feared the worst after seeing four goals chalked off by the new system this season.

Wolves, showing one change with Leander Dendoncker in for Adama Traore, went into the game with just two wins from 10 in the Premier League immediately after playing in Europe this season – albeit also with six draws – and they started this game in less than convincing style.

Passes went astray in midfield and they were pretty much pinned inside their own half for the first 15 minutes as Norwich showed they remain an attacking force to be aware of, even if their defence is suspect.

Norwich threatened first when they broke down the left after a neat passing move between left back Jamal Lewis and Kenny McLean, whose cross was toe-poked straight to goalkeeper Rui Patricio by 11-goal top scorer Teemu Pukki from close range.

McLean was next to threaten with a firm drive from just outside the box that was straight down Patricio’s throat.

With Molineux starting to show tentative signs of frustration, Wolves belatedly found their feet as an attacking force.

Jota drove in forcefully from the left but instead of taking the shooting chance that opened up for him, delayed and eventually tried to find Jimenez but his pass was intercepted.

But in the next move, Wolves took the lead. Doherty did brilliantly, starting the move by winning possession on the right before exchanging passes with Jimenez and continuing his run into the box.

When the return pass found him deep inside the penalty area, he turned through 180 degrees, controlling the ball on his upper arm as he re-adjusted, before finding Jota to his left.

The Portuguese forward then shifted the ball quickly to his left to give himself an angle and fired home left-footed, through goalkeeper Tim Krul.

There was a delay before the goal was allowed while VAR checked for the possible handball against Doherty, but thankfully for Wolves, the video assistant referee got it right and ruled the goal should stand.

There was huge relief around Molineux after VAR had ruled out Willy Boly’s header against Leicester in the previous Premier League home game after Pedro Neto’s studs were deemed offside.

Jota was inspired and in the next attack, cut in from the left again before attempting to find Jimenez at the far post only for Alex Tettey to intervene and divert the ball behind.

But undeterred, Wolves doubled their lead when they ventured forward again.

This time, Jota tapped home ahead of the sliding Boly and Jimenez after Jonny’s cross from Joao Moutinho’s short corner had been flicked on by Dendoncker and drilled back into the danger area by Romain Saiss beyond the far post.

Wolves went desperately close to a third goal in the 40th minute. Ruben Neves’s curling free kick from 20 yards inside the D was brilliantly tipped on to the bar by Krul leaping to his left.

There were two bookings before half-time as Jimenez was yellow-carded for bringing down Cantwell as he broke forward, then Norwich right back Aarons for catching Jota late.

Wolves started the second half on the front foot and they soon threatened with a low left-foot drive from Jimenez which arrowed wide.

But they didn’t have long to wait before celebrating again as Wolves scored a classic counter-attacking goal. This time Jimenez scored, ramming the ball into the roof of the net.

The goal came after Dendoncker won the ball off McLean in his own half then fed the Mexican, who burst forward before teeing up Jota, who had made a diagonal run from left to right prior to slamming a fierce, low shot against the foot of the post and Jimenez booted home the rebound.

Wolves were now in cruise control and, with the game won, they had the luxury of opting to replace Jota in the 63rd minute for Pedro Neto, and Traore for Jimenez on 72.

Aarons still tested Patricio with a curling shot straight at the ’keeper when he perhaps should have crossed, but Wolves threatened more goals.

Jimenez diverted the ball over the bar from Doherty’s wayward angled shot, before Neto’s cross was somehow missed by Doherty and Jimenez.

Still the home side pressed for further goals and Doherty’s header from substitute Ruben Vinagre’s cross was blocked by Krul before Traore blazed over with a rising shot from 20 yards.

 

Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio 7; Boly 7, Coady © 7, Saiss 8; Doherty 8, Neves 8, Moutinho 8, Jonny 8; Dendoncker 8, Jimenez 6 (Traore 72), Jota 9 (Neto 63).

Unused subs: Ruddy, Podence, Gibbs-White, Vinagre, Kilman.

Norwich (4-2-3-1): Krul 8; Aarons 6, Godfrey 5, Lewis 5; Tettey 5, Rupp 5 (Buendia 59, 5); Cantwell 6 (Stiepermann 84, 5), Duda 4 (Drmic 59, 5), McLean 6; Pukki 6.

Unused subs: Fahrmann, Vrancic, Trybull, Idah.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh 7/10

Attendance: 31,046.