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Lookman struck a hatrick as his team Atalanta lifted the Europa League trophy

Atalanta celebrate after beating Bayer Leverkusen to win the Europa League

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

Xabi Alonso’s team simply ran out of steam after a phenomenal season with Lookman running them ragged, opening the scoring with a back-post finish on 12 minutes before doubling the advantage with a stunning curling effort 14 minutes later.

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

He wrapped up his famous treble with a powerful left-footed strike that flew into the top corner meaning he became the first player to ever score a hat-trick in a Europa League final.

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

For Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini, this was the first major trophy of his long career – an overdue success. Victory also gave Atalanta only the second trophy in their 116-year history, over six decades after the Bergamo side had won the Coppa Italia.

Leverkusen did not seem prepared for Atalanta’s high press that forced early mistakes and set the tone of the contest.

Granit Xhaka was guilty of losing possession for Matteo Ruggeri to set up a headed opportunity for Gianluca Scamacca.

If that was a clear warning, Leverkusen did not heed it and Atalanta were ahead after 12 minutes.

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

Teun Koopmeiners pounced on a partially-cleared corner and slipped a delightful pass inside to Davide Zappacosta, who pulled it back into a dangerous area. The ball travelled across the box and, with Exequiel Palacios back on his heels and unaware of imminent danger, Lookman stole in to convert with a firm side-foot.

Matters got worse for Leverkusen after 26 minutes with their failure to maintain possession and defend the transition again costing them. Lookman took care of a loose ball before slipping it through the legs of Xhaka and finding the net from 20 yards with an unstoppable curling shot.

Derek Kanalo
the authorDerek Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.