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Nuno hails 'fantastic' Diogo Jota as Wolves win big in Europa League

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

Nuno Espirito Santo is delighted with the huge impact made by Diogo Jota as Wolves capped off the Europa League group stage in style against Besiktas.

Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 (AMA)

Jota was the instigator of change as Wolves ran out 4-0 winners over the Turkish side at Molineux, scoring a hat-trick in a stunning 11 minutes as a substitute.

Leander Dendoncker was also on the scoresheet in what was an emphatic victory after a drab first half.

It was not enough to win Group K as Braga won 4-2 at Slovan Bratislava, but Wolves are now preparing for the last 32 draw on Monday, and Nuno said on Jota: "We're really pleased.

"When you make a substitution, you want to change to the game.

"You try to find the best solution for the team. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

"But this is what we want, for players to come in and make an impact.

"Diogo did fantastically well. Well done. What he's been doing every day and the way he is on the pitch, he's always fighting.

"He's always running. When you have talent, the goals come. But you have to keep going."

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Jota came on in the 57th minute and completed his treble in the 68th.

Nuno was happy with the all-round performance from his charges, too.

"I'm happy with all the performance. I think it was a good game," he said.

"We performed well, played good. We scored goals and defended well – organised.

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"It was a well-played game, very good, so I'm happy."

Wolves, unseeded as they came second in the group, could be drawn against the likes of Ajax, Inter Milan and Benfica – and will play at home first in the two-legged affair. The draw takes place at midday on Monday.

In the end, Nuno's side finished the group with four wins, one draw and one loss.

"It was a tough competition. The first game at home went not quite well – we didn't play good (losing 1-0 to Braga)," said Nuno.

"But after that, progressively through the competition, we've got better."

And on narrowly missing out on the top spot, Nuno added: "I think, in the end, we performed well. We didn't fight for a particular place.

"We fought game by game to see where it takes us. It has taken us to the knockout stage, and we are delighted to be there."

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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