Wolves 4-0 Espanyol: Jota hits another hat-trick as Nuno's men take complete control

Wolves thrashed Espanyol in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at Molineux, with Diogo Jota scoring a hat-trick.

Diogo Jota scored a second successive Europa League hat-trick as Wolves took complete control of their last-32 tie against Espanyol with a 4-0 first-leg win.

Wolves had failed to score in back-to-back Premier League matches but had no trouble in overcoming LaLiga's bottom-placed side at Molineux on Thursday.

Jota netted a treble when Wolves won by the same scoreline against Besiktas in December, and he opened the scoring here with a close-range finish inside 15 minutes before doubling his tally in the second half after Ruben Neves' sublime 25-yard volley put the hosts two ahead.

The Portugal international completed his latest hat-trick with nine minutes remaining to leave Espanyol, who were fortunate not to have Ander Iturraspe dismissed, with a mountain to climb in next week's return leg.

Jota had not netted in any competition since the Besiktas game but picked up from where he left off in Europe by converting Raul Jimenez's front-post flick-on from a right-wing corner routine.

Adama Traore failed to beat Andres Prieto four minutes later, and Rui Patricio had to redeem himself with a scrambling save from Facundo Ferreyra following a poor clearance at the other end.

Iturraspe was let off with a yellow card after forcing his head against Jota's, but Wolves were less forgiving following the interval as Neves controlled a half-cleared cross on his chest and volleyed into the top-left corner.

The third goal came again from Jota, who rifled past Prieto with a deflected shot following some nice build-up play on the right, and the same player rounded off the scoring 14 minutes later after substitute winger Pedro Neto had hit the post.

Jota cut in from the left and drilled into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box to all but secure Wolves' place in the last 16 ahead of the return match in Catalonia.