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Lookman scores hat-trick as Atalanta stun Leverkusen to win Europa League title

23 May, 2024 10:10 IST|Sakshi Post

Dublin, May 23 (IANS) Ademola Lookman scored an exceptional hat-trick as Atalanta put an end to Bayer Leverkusen's 51-game unbeaten run to win the UEFA Europa League title.

Lookman scored all three goals as Atalanta stopped the clock on Leverkusen's extraordinary unbeaten run, and brought 66-year-old coach Gian Piero Gasperini the first major trophy of his long career.

Atalanta pressed high from the off and with Leverkusen's danger men making a cold start in unseasonably chilly conditions, the Italian side were ahead after 12 minutes.

Played in brilliantly by Teun Koopmeiners, Davide Zappacosta delivered an angled ball back across the box that eluded two of his team-mates, but not the Lookman, who crashed in a shot at the far post. He needed no assistance for his second on 26 minutes, weaving his way to the edge of the box and smashing a low effort past the exposed Matej Kovar, Europa League reports.

Alejandro Grimaldo failed to test Juan Musso with Leverkusen's best chance of the first half after 35 minutes, and while the Jeremie Frimpong probed diligently for weak spots, Xabi Alonso's side did not look like a team, who were unbeaten in 51 games.

The only consolation at the break was that it could have been worse, Kovar saving well from Charles De Ketelaere on 43 minutes.

Victor Boniface was introduced at the break, and with Atalanta sitting a little deeper, Leverkusen smouldered to life, Frimpong blazing a loose ball over just before the hour mark. However, Atalanta maintained their threat, and Gianluca Scamacca played in Lookman on 75 minutes, the Nigerian steadying himself before blasting past Kovar.

"That was perhaps our peak in recent years. We've won it against top teams. We beat Sporting who are the Portuguese champions. We played Liverpool when they were top of the Premier League. We played Marseille who are a very good side, and tonight we beat the German champions. To have beaten such great sides adds gloss to our achievement," Atalanta coach Gasperini said.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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