scorecardAtalanta clinch first major European title, end Leverkusen’s 51-game unbeaten streak in Europa League final
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Atalanta clinch first major European title, end Leverkusen’s 51-game unbeaten streak in Europa League final

Atalanta clinch first major European title, end Leverkusen’s 51-game unbeaten streak in Europa League final
Sports2 min read
Atalanta stunned the football world and created history at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Wednesday! The Italian outfit thrashed newly-crowned German champions Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the Europa League final, handing Leverkusen their first defeat of the 2023-24 season and ending their unbelievable 51-game unbeaten run.

Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman delivered a masterclass performance, dismantling the Bundesliga side almost single-handedly. The 26-year-old ignited the scoreboard with a back-post finish at the 12-minute mark and followed up with a stunning curling effort 14 minutes later to double the lead. He completed his hat-trick with a powerful left-footed strike in the 75th minute, becoming the first player ever to net a hat-trick in a Europa League final.

This triumph secured Atalanta their first major European title and only the second major trophy in their 116-year history, with their last silverware being the Coppa Italia over six decades ago. It also marked the first major trophy for Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini, a crowning achievement in the 66-year-old tactician’s extensive managerial career.

Atalanta's dominant performance in the final showcased their resilience and strength, especially after their recent loss to Juventus in the Italian Cup final just a week prior.

Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso, however, remained positive despite the setback, asserting that the defeat does not diminish his team's remarkable season.

“For me the result today does not change one bit how I feel about my players or what we have been doing. It hurts because we wanted to lift the trophy but you can't have everything,” Alonso told TNT Sports.

“This season and achievements have surpassed all expectations. I was hoping and getting ready to maybe do something great but this has been so much more,” the Spaniard added.

Leverkusen's hopes of a treble are dashed, but they still have a shot at securing a domestic double if they can triumph over Kaiserslautern in the German Cup on Saturday.

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