Diogo Jota inspired Wolves to a sensational victory with a remarkable hat-trick in a topsy-turvy, seven-goal thriller with Leicester City. The Portuguese opened and closed the scoring, writing the final chapter on the most thrilling of games, which also featured Ryan Bennett’s first goal of the season and multiple Leicester fightbacks.
It took just four minutes for Jota to get the action rolling in the Premier League’s early kick-off, stealing in at the back post to tuck away Joao Moutinho’s cross, before the creator claimed his second assist by squaring for Bennett to head into the top corner.
However, the Foxes came out for the second half inspired and hauled themselves level within four minutes thanks to Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes’ deflected strike. Yet, that looked to count for nothing when Jota restored Wolves’ lead by leading a devastating counter attack and firing home.
The Foxes came back once more through Wes Morgan’s header three minutes from time, which looked to have earned the visitors an unlikely point, but this Wolves side have guts, determination and character in abundance. In the dying moments Raul Jimenez laid on the perfect cross for Jota to steer home the most dramatic of winners and lift the lid off the South Bank.
The bitterly cold conditions at Molineux were quickly forgotten by a rip-roaring start by the hosts. With their first attack, Wolves came mighty close to an opener as a ricochet rolled invitingly for an onrushing Ruben Neves. Molineux held its breath as the Portuguese measured himself and fired towards the top corner, only to be denied by a stunning fingertip save by Kasper Schmeichel.
However, they wouldn’t be denied for long. Leicester never truly cleared the resulting corner, and Jimenez freed Moutinho down the right, he steadied himself and swung a cross in for Jota, who nipped in ahead of Danny Simpson and jabbed the ball beyond Schmeichel.
The second goal was just around the corner, too. A fantastic, lofted through ball by Conor Coady sent Jota on his way and, although the corner was the initial result, Moutinho’s delivery was on point once again, as Bennett rose above Harry Maguire to thump a header into the top corner.
While Rui Patricio had endured some nervy moments early on, he did the business on 18 minutes to push away a powerful strike from Demarai Gray. Then, in a not too dissimilar move, the winger had a volley comfortably saved by the goalkeeper.
Wolves still had their tails up and should have made it three before the half-hour mark as Jimenez crossed for Jota, but he couldn’t add to his tally, heading straight at Schmeichel. The goalkeeper was being kept busy throughout the half and was called into action to deny Jimenez with his feet minutes before the break.
Half-time: Wolves 2 Leicester 0
While the first half belonged to Wolves, Leicester quickly set about changing the complexion of the game after the interval. Ruben Vinagre’s poor cross allowed the Foxes to counter attack and Jamie Vardy sent Gray scampering down the right, he evaded Romain Saiss’ challenge before drilling home, across Patricio.
Then, just minutes later, Leicester were level out of nowhere. Strong running by Ben Chilwell down the left stretched Wolves and, although Jonny appeared to be pulled back, the game continued as the ball fell invitingly for Barnes to smash home, via the aid of a Coady deflection.
At 2-2, the end-to-end action was captivating, and the next pendulum swing was back the way of Wolves. The hosts played Leicester at their own game with a devastating counter attack. Neves’ touch was exemplary, as was his ball through to Jota, who took it in his stride and fired underneath Schmeichel to send the South Bank into raptures.
In a bid to shore things up, Nuno Espirito Santo then brought Matt Doherty off the bench in place of Vinagre, with Jonny moving across to the left. Morgan Gibbs-White followed him on soon after too, replacing Moutinho, who’d enjoyed a fine performance, laying on two assists.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, the Foxes were still well in the game and, when set up by Ricardo Pereira, substitute James Maddison got his feet in a muddle and sliced wide. However, with three minutes remaining the visitors had another equaliser as Maddison’s free-kick was headed into the net by Morgan.
That goal looked to have ruined Wolves’ day, but the spirit of this fine football came to the fore once more. Another unreal pass by Neves found Jimenez in space on the right, he looked up and rolled a perfect cross into the path of Jota, who did the rest, steering into the corner to lift the lid off the South Bank. Absolute carnage. The points belonged to Wolves.
Full-time: Wolves 4 Leicester 3
Wolves: Patricio, Otto, Bennett, Coady, Saiss, Vinagre (Doherty 73), Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho (Gibbs-White 81), Jota, Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Giles, Cavaleiro, Costa, Traore.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Iheanacho 82), Morgan, Maguire (Evans 47), Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Barnes (Maddison 73), Pereira, Gray, Vardy.
Unused subs: Ward, Fuchs, Choudhury, Albrighton.