Wolves trash Espanyol’s Europa League dreams with first leg hammering

Espanyol have found themselves practically out of the Europa League with a second leg still left to play after Wolves beat them 4-0 at Molineux in the first leg on Thursday night.

Abelardo Fernandez was without key figures such as Marc Roca and Raul de Tomas but they competed well in the first half, Diogo Jota’s strike from a Raul Jimenez assist being the only difference between the teams at the break.

In a heated affair, Joao Moutinho and Ander Iturraspe squared up shortly before the break but neither man was dismissed.

Early on in the second half, Nuno Esprito Santo’s side took control, Ruben Neves’ fine finish doubling the home team’s lead with more than half an hour left on the clock.

Jota secured a brace only 15 minutes later, getting on the end of Matt Doherty’s cross to almost put the tie to bed.

He would seal a hat-trick late on as Moutinho turned provdier, setting up the Portuguese forward to take matters from bad to worse for Espanyol.

In LaLiga Santander, the Pericos remain rooted to the bottom of the table and now face elimination from Europe in a grim season for the Catalans.

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