By Richard Morgan
Football journalist - @Richiereds1976
Wolves 4-3 Leicester: Diogo Jota hat-trick increases pressure on Claude Puel
Report as Diogo Jota's treble sees Wolves edge seven-goal thriller
Last Updated: 19/01/19 8:24pm
Diogo Jota's hat-trick, including an injury-time winner, saw Wolves beat Leicester 4-3 to increase the pressure on Foxes manager Claude Puel on Saturday.
Wolves made a fast start to proceedings, scoring twice inside the opening quarter of an hour through Jota's well-taken effort after just four minutes, and Ryan Bennett's header eight minutes later.
With the hosts seemingly cruising to the three points, though, Leicester responded right at the start of the second half through the recalled Demarai Gray (47), before Conor Coady's own goal completed a quickfire turnaround.
Wolves: Patricio (6), Bennett (6), Coady (6), Saiss (6), Vinagre (6), Dendoncker (6), Moutinho (7), Neves (7), Jonny (6), Jimenez (7), Jota (9)
Subs: Doherty (6), Gibbs-White (6)
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Simpson (6), Morgan (6), Maguire (6), Chilwell (7), Ricardo (6), Mendy (6), Ndidi (7), Barnes (7), Gray (7), Vardy (7)
Subs: Evans (6), Maddison (7), Iheanacho (6)
Man of the match: Diogo Jota
But Nuno Espirito Santo's side responded through Jota (64), only for Wes Morgan to head home substitute James Maddison's free kick (87), before the Portuguese sealed his hat-trick in stoppage time.
The Wolves boss saw red for his wild on-pitch celebrations with his own players at the end as his team moved up to seventh in the table, while Leicester dropped to ninth ahead of Saturday afternoon's games.
Wolves may have come into the game having won only one of their previous five league matches, but you would not have known given their start at Molineux.
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel had already produced a breathtaking one-handed stop to tip Ruben Neves' long-range curler over the bar, before the hosts took the lead from the resulting corner.
Leicester cleared the initial danger, before breaking upfield, only to lose possession as Joao Moutinho got free down the right wing. And from the Portuguese's floated cross, there was Jota to steal in ahead of Danny Simpson and toe-poke his team ahead.
That lead was soon doubled, and that man Moutinho was again the provider as Bennett got in front of Harry Maguire to power the playmaker's left-wing corner home with 12 minutes on the clock.
Those two early goals had the under-fire Puel off his seat in the away dugout and raging at his players as chants of "you're getting sacked in the morning" came from the home faithful.
However, those calls were soon silenced as the visitors scored twice in the first four minutes of the second half to turn the match on its head, the first coming from a Wolves corner.
Leicester counter-attacked through Jamie Vardy, with the striker then sending Gray through on goal and from a tight angle in the box, the forward beat Rui Patricio with a low drive into the far corner of the goal.
Wolves made two changes from their 3-0 loss at Man City on MNF, with Romain Saiss and Ruben Vinagre coming in for the benched Matt Doherty and the suspended Willy Boly.
Meanwhile, Leicester made three alterations from their 2-1 home loss to Southampton last weekend as Danny Simpson, Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes, for his first Premier League start, replaced James Maddison, Marc Albrighton and Hamza Choudhury, who all dropped to the subs’ bench.
Four minutes later and Leicester were level after Ben Chilwell's powerful run into the box was stopped, only for Harvey Barnes - on his Premier League debut - to collect the ball and see Coady deflect his shot past Patricio, the Wolves captain's second own goal in as many games.
The scoring for the day was not over though as first Neves' glorious through ball released Jota, with the Portuguese drilling a shot past Schmeichel midway through the second half, only for Leicester's captain to rise highest to nod in Maddison's set piece with three minutes to go.
However, if Puel and Leicester thought they had escaped with a draw, they were mistaken as Jota was on hand to sweep home Raul Jimenez's cross and send the home fans into delirium.
- Wolves were two goals up at half-time for only the fourth time in the Premier League, winning all four of those games
- Leicester have lost five of their last eight Premier League games (W3) after going six games without defeat directly before that (W2 D4)
- Wolves have netted three 90+ minute winners in the Premier League this season, more than any other side
- Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel conceded his 200th goal in the Premier League in his 156th game in the competition (now 202). It took his father Peter Schmeichel 241 games to hit the 200 goals conceded mark in the English top-flight
- Joao Moutinho is the first Wolves player to provide two assists in a Premier League game since Kevin Doyle versus Swansea in April 2012
- Wolves defender Conor Coady is the ninth player to score an own goal in consecutive Premier League appearances, and the first since Leighton Baines in October 2012 for Everton against Liverpool
- Leicester's Wes Morgan netted a Premier League goal for the first time in his last 73 appearances in the competition, since scoring for the Foxes against Swansea in August 2016
Man of the Match - Diogo Jota
The forward ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides at Molineux, with his hat-trick meaning the 22-year-old scored more goals in this match than he had in the whole of the season.
All three of the Portuguese's goals were well taken, especially his second, while his clever runs caused the Leicester back line no end of problems all afternoon.
As a result, the frontman became the first player to score a top-division hat-trick for Wolves since John Richards - also against Leicester - in October 1977.
Nuno: "Very good game. But a game we have to look at. Everyone enjoys the result, a fantastic game of football with two teams playing to win the game. After our advantage we should manage the game better but in football it is never finished.
"I wish I knew, I wish everybody knew, we have to look at it but we have to do better at 2-0 up (on the start to the second half). Now we are speaking with happiness but if not we would be blaming ourselves for what we did not achieve.
"They know, they are experienced enough to know at two goals up the game is not over, we tried to stay in shape and avoid mistakes but their goals came from mistakes."
Puel: "It was an unbelievable game. I think we have a lot of different feelings in this game, we started with poor intentions and conceded two early goals. It was crazy, we come back into the game with good quality and good chances. We lacked quality in our play but we came back with fantastic spirit in the second half. We came back with desire, aggression and put Wolves under pressure.
"We made good pressing, continued our intensity but conceded a third goal after a fantastic feeling to come back but to finish 4-3, we need to waste some time. We didn't manage the game at the end, we were naive in our goals and our management at the end of the game.
"This game is finished [at 3-3] - we needed to keep our position without trying to score another goal because there was a lot of tiredness. It was a fantastic feeling [to come back] and of course it is a big disappointment at the end."
Wolves travel to Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup fourth round next Saturday afternoon, while Leicester visit Premier League leaders Liverpool in the league on Wednesday January 30 (8pm).