Europa League

Europa League Top Five, Matchday Six: 12-minute hat-trick for Jota

The Wolves star came off the bench to score three versus Besiktas.

 
11:00am on Friday 13th December 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Diogo Jota
F (C), AM (L) - Wolves - 23 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
34'
10
Dec 12, 2019
34Minutes played
3Goals
1Crosses
5Final third passes
3Touches in box
1Ball recovered
9Passes completed
16Touches

At home against Besiktas on Thursday, Wolves needed some inspiration. They got it in the form of Jota, who came off the bench to score the fastest hat-trick in the Europa League since 2014 by netting three times within 12 minutes. The first came just before the hour mark as he peeled away at the back post to power a bouncing header into the empty net after a cracking cross from Pedro Neto. The second was a display of his opportunistic side as he bounced on a rebound following a great save from the goalkeeper to smash home an emphatic finish. To earn his hat-trick goal, he scored from a similar position to the first, only this time it was a low finish after a lashed cross along the six-yard box from Oskar Buur. He only played in the match for 34 minutes, and as such didn't contribute too much in other areas, such as completing just nine passes to team-mates.

Joris Gnagnon
D (CL) - Stade Rennais - 22 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.8
Dec 12, 2019
2Goals
4Total shots
1Crosses
3Final third passes
4Touches in box
6Ball recovered
29Passes completed
54Touches

Rennes went into the game against Lazio knowing they were already knocked out of the competition, but still dispatched of the Italian side with relative comfort thanks to two goals from Gnagnon who scored the only two goals in the 2-0 win. His first came from his presence in the middle of the box as he held off a couple of challenges to allow the ball to bounce before firing a half-volley low under the diving goalkeeper. The second came in much more simple fashion as he reacted to a fumble from the opposition keeper to fire a rebound. Bear in mind, he is a centre-back.

Umar Sadiq
S (C) - Partizan - 22 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
83'
9.3
Dec 12, 2019
2Goals
1Assists
4Total shots
6Final third passes
8Touches in box
5Duels won
14Passes completed
37Touches

Like Rennes, Partizan were already eliminated before Matchday Six. That didn't stop them putting in a good performance against Astana to win 4-1. Sadiq scored two and set up another as he looked like a completely different player to the one who struggled on loan at Rangers. Both his goals came via smart finishes, with the second after taking it confidently around the goalkeeper. His assist was a smart one, too, as he laid into the path of Takuma Asano.

Mason Greenwood
S (C) - Man Utd - 18 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.3
Dec 12, 2019
2Goals
3Total shots
1Tackles won
1Dribbles
1Tackles won
4Ball recovered
24Passes completed
38Touches

Man Utd coasted to top spot of their group on Thursday after comfortably dispatching of AZ 4-0, with Greenwood the star of the show. The 18-year-old was a nuisance all night for the Dutch side through his pace and direct running, but it was his finishing that impressed as he scored two. Both came with his left foot, with the first being thrashed into the bottom right corner from outside the box, and the second being squeezed in past the keeper low in the same corner. Not only that, but he won the penalty for the third goal scored by Juan Mata after being fouled by Jordy Clasie.

Ciprian Deac
W (R), M (C) - CFR Cluj - 33 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
85'
9.1
Dec 12, 2019
2Assists
3Total shots
3Crosses
8Duels won
10Ball recovered
17Passes completed
63Successfull passes %
46Touches

For Celtic at least, the match between the Scottish champions and Cluj was a dead rubber as they were already confirmed as group winners in Matchday Five. However, the hosts still needed to win just to confirm their progression to the last-32, and they got it with a 2-0 result in Romania. Deac assisted both goals and was generally impressive as he won the majority of his duels and made 10 ball recoveries, as well as sending three successful crosses into the box for his team-mates.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Arsenal may have been poor in the 2-2 draw with Standard Liege, conceding two awful goals, but Bukayo Saka (8.9) was the bright spark for the Gunners as he assisted the first goal and then scored the equaliser with a curled strike into the bottom corner.

ROUND TO FORGET

AZ goalkeeper Marco Bizot (4.8) was fairly hapless against Manchester United as he conceded four and arguably should have done better for two of them.

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