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Atalanta 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen: Ademola Lookman achieves an impressive hat-trick in the Europa League final | football news

Bayer Leverkusen’s 51-game unbeaten run came to an end when Ademola Lookman scored an impressive hat-trick as Atalanta won the Europa League final 3-0.

Xabi Alonso’s side simply ran out of steam after a phenomenal season with Lookman breaking through, opening the scoring with a shot at the far post in the 12th minute before doubling the lead with a stunning strike 14 minutes later.

He concluded his famous hat-trick with a powerful left-footed shot that flew into the top corner, becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in a Europa League final.

Atalanta's Ademola Lookman (right) celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final
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Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman (right) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final

After winning their first Bundesliga title, Leverkusen’s hopes of a treble are over, although they can secure a domestic double by beating Kaiserslautern in the German Cup on Saturday.

For Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini, this was the first major trophy of his long career: an expected success. The victory also gave Atalanta just the second trophy in its 116-year history, more than six decades after the Bergamo team won the Coppa Italia.

Leverkusen’s unbeaten streak ended with Gasperini…

Gasperini’s team had lost to Juventus in the Coppa Italia final seven days earlier, but recovered from that setback to knock Leverkusen out of the game.

Florian Wirtz had a difficult night as Bayer Leverkusen lost to Atalanta
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Florian Wirtz had a difficult night as Bayer Leverkusen lost to Atalanta

And Lookman, who once played for Everton, Fulham and Leicester, provided the cutting edge to reward a polished and well-rounded performance.

Leverkusen seemed unprepared for Atalanta’s high pressing that forced early errors and set the tone of the match.

Granit Xhaka was guilty of losing possession for Matteo Ruggeri to create a headed chance for Gianluca Scamacca.

If that was a clear warning, Leverkusen did not heed and Atalanta took the lead after 12 minutes.

Atalanta's Emil Holm (left) and Isak Hien celebrate the victory
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Atalanta’s Emil Holm (left) and Isak Hien celebrate the victory

Teun Koopmeiners took advantage of a partially cleared corner and slipped a beautiful inside pass to Davide Zappacosta, who returned the ball to the dangerous area. The ball traveled through the area and, with Exequiel Palacios on his heels and unaware of the imminent danger, Lookman stepped inside to convert with a firm side foot.

Things got worse for Leverkusen after 26 minutes as their inability to maintain possession and defend transition cost them again. Lookman dealt with a loose ball before sliding it between Xhaka’s legs and finding the net from 20 yards with an unstoppable curling shot.

Ademola Lookman
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Lookman is hoisted into the air after Atalanta win the Europa League

Leverkusen should have halved the deficit when Alex Grimaldo was outplayed and Musso had advanced too far. It was not a difficult task for Grimaldo to bring down Musso, but his effort failed to clear the grateful goalkeeper.

Leverkusen were European football’s comeback kings, scoring 10 equalizing or winning goals in the 90th minute or injury time, including two in one match, in 2024.

But this time the Germans had no answer, as Scamacca found Lookman on the left and the defenders retreated desperately.

Lookman bought some space with a step forward and unleashed a fierce left-footed shot past Kovar to start Atalanta’s celebrations.

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini (center) celebrates with the coaching staff after winning the UEFA Europa League final.
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Atalanta director Gian Piero Gasperini (center) celebrates with his coaching staff

Alonso: “The defeat hurts, but our streak was exceptional”

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Xabi Alonso admits that Bayer Leverkusen’s first defeat of the season against Atalanta in the Europa League final is “painful”.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso:

“Normally it happens at the beginning of the season, but when it’s the first one in such an important game, it sure hurts.

“We need to face this pain in a positive way, try to transform it into good energy for the next thing: football.

“The normal thing is not to lose in the 52nd game. What we have achieved has been quite exceptional and we have to be really proud.

“Today is painful, but it is also deserved.”

Opta statistics: Atalanta makes history

  • Atalanta has won its first major European trophy: it is the tenth different Italian team to do so, only surpassed by the English (13).
  • Lookman’s hat-trick for Atalanta was the sixth scored in a UEFA major final. It was the first since Jupp Heynckes scored for Borussia Mönchengladbach against FC Twente in 1975, which was the only other one to score in a UEFA Cup/Europa League final.
  • At 66 years and 117 days, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini is the fourth oldest coach to win a major European trophy after Raymond Goethals (71 years, 231 days, 1993 UEFA Champions League), Jupp Heynckes (68 years, 16 days, 2013 UEFA Champions League) and Alex Ferguson. (66 years 142 days, UEFA Champions League 2008).
  • This was the largest margin of defeat for a German team in a major European final since the 1993 UEFA Cup, when Borussia Dortmund lost 3-0 to Juventus in the second leg. In single-match finals, it is the largest margin of defeat for a German team since Eintracht Frankfurt lost 7-3 to Real Madrid in the 1960 European Cup.
  • Bayer Leverkusen suffered their first defeat since the last game of the 2022-23 season (0-3 against VfL Bochum): they had been unbeaten in their 51 games in all competitions this season before tonight (42 wins and 9 draws ).

Whats Next?

Atalanta end their season with two Serie A games, the first of them at home against Turin on Sunday; start at 5 pm Then they host Fiorentina Sunday, June 2; start at 5 pm

Bayern Leverkusen The last game of the season is against the second division. Kaiserslautern on Saturday in the DFB Pokal final in Berlin; start at 7 p.m.

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