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Diogo Jota delighted to end goal drought with Europa League hat-trick

Diogo Jota revealed his relief at ending his goal drought in style after his Europa League hat-trick.

The forward bagged a treble in Wolves’ 4-0 romp over Espanyol in their last 32 first-leg clash on Thursday.

He had not scored since netting another hat-trick in their final group game in December, another 4-0 win over Besiktas, and added to Ruben Neves’ stunning 25-yard volley at Molineux.

Jota has scored just three goals in the Premier League this season but is now joint-topscorer in the main stage of the Europa League with six goals.

“Things happen naturally and I’ve been struggling a lot to score in the Premier League, but you can see that when small things change, different things appear,” said the 23-year-old, who has nine goals in Europe this season after netting in three in the qualifying rounds.

“When we talk about the Premier League, we are talking about the best league in the world, the most competitive one, so we have to realise it’s not easy to score goals, to not concede as well in each game.

“I’m very happy to score and help the team to the win. We just want to keep helping the team and keep working hard to win matches.

“I was talking to Ruben – he can stay with the better one, I scored more than him, so I’m still happy.”

Wolves host Norwich in the Premier League on Sunday ahead of the return leg against Espanyol in Barcelona on Thursday.

Boss Nuno Espirito called for calm when asked if the tie was over and Jota echoed his manager despite their commanding lead.

“We are playing game-by-game and although we had a great result tonight, it’s not done yet,” he told the club’s official website. “I think it’s a great result, four goals and a clean sheet, so it’s in our hands, but in football you never know.

“We have many examples of teams coming back, so we have to stay focused and complete the job next week in the second leg, then we’ll see.”