• Monday, June 17, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lookman bags hat-trick as Atalanta defeat Leverkusen 3-0 to win Europa League

Lookman (1)

Bayer Leverkusen’s remarkable 51-game unbeaten run ended as Ademola Lookman scored a stunning hat-trick for Atalanta in a 3-0 victory in Dublin to clinch the Uefa Europa League.

Atalanta celebrated their first major trophy in 61 years with a historic win, thanks to Lookman’s incredible performance.

The former Charlton Athletic academy player, who had a challenging stint at Everton, shone brightly on the big stage.

Lookman opened the scoring twice in the first half-hour, leaving Leverkusen with no answer. He sealed his hat-trick with a brilliant strike in the final 15 minutes, ensuring Atalanta’s triumph and bringing Leverkusen’s undefeated season to a halt.

Leverkusen, under the guidance of former Liverpool coach Xabi Alonso, had hoped to secure an ‘Invincible treble’ with two more wins needed after clinching the Bundesliga title. However, they managed only three shots on target against a dominant Atalanta side, showcasing the Italian team’s superb performance.

Alonso’s squad struggled against Atalanta’s relentless energy. Lookman’s back-post finish and a stunning curling shot in the first half set the tone.

Despite Alonso’s tactical changes at halftime, including bringing on Victor Boniface, Leverkusen could not break through Atalanta’s solid defense.

Nerazzurri, fresh from a near-miss in the Coppa Italia final against Juventus and a commanding win over Liverpool in the Europa League quarter-finals, showed their intent from the start.

Davide Zappacosta’s assist for Lookman’s opener and Lookman’s nutmeg and finish for the second goal exemplified Atalanta’s attacking prowess.

In the second half, Lookman completed his hat-trick, driving into the box and hammering a left-footed shot past Matej Kovar, ensuring Atalanta’s victory and ending Leverkusen’s historic run.

The victory marked Atalanta’s first European title and only their second major piece of silverware in the club’s history.