Diogo Jota steals the show with a hat-trick as Wolves maul Besiktas
Diogo Jota became the first Wolves player in almost 50 years to score a European hat-trick after his treble beat Besiktas.
The substitute netted three times in 11 second-half minutes as Wolves routed the visitors 4-0, with Leander Dendoncker also scoring during a Europa League goal rush at Molineux.
But, despite their second-half heroics, Wolves finished second in Group K after Braga’s 4-2 comeback win in Bratislava.
It means Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will not be seeded for the last 32 when the draw is made on Monday.
They had already qualified for the knockout stages and with Besiktas bottom both teams made wholesale changes, which showed in the opening 20 minutes.
An uninspiring start had all the hallmarks of a dead rubber with neither side needing to up the tempo.
The only moment of note came when Patrick Cutrone had the ball in the net having already been flagged offside.
It was sleep-inducing stuff with Besiktas offering little except from Rebocho’s low shot which he dragged well wide.
Max Kilman tried to liven things up to no avail with a robust tackle on Umut Nayir which earned a booking five minutes before the break.
After the timid first half Wolves at least showed more intent early in the second only for Dendoncker to blow a big chance three minutes in.
The midfielder completely miscued a header after Utku Yuvakuran missed Ruben Vinagre’s cross.
It encouraged the hosts and, after Jota replaced Ruben Neves, the substitute made an immediate impact to spark a goal rush.
He had only been on the pitch 77 seconds but finished off a flowing move with his first touch.
Cutrone’s audacious flick sent Pedro Neto away on the right and he twisted his way out of danger to pick out Jota to nod in at the far post.
Wolves should have doubled their lead soon after but Dendoncker’s instinctive volley from Joao Moutinho’s corner hit the post and Kilman headed the rebound wide.
But a second arrived after 63 minutes to put Wolves in complete control.
Dendoncker hit the woodwork again, when his 25-yard drive was tipped onto the bar by Utku, but this time Jota bagged the follow up.
Then, Dendoncker finally got the goal he had been threatening when he headed in Moutinho’s corner after 67 minutes.
And less than two minutes later Jota had his hat-trick, firing in Oskar Buur’s low cross from close range to become Wolves’ first European hat-trick hero since Derek Dougan’s treble against Academica de Coimbra in the UEFA Cup in 1971.