Atalanta 3-0 Leverkusen: Lookman treble brings UEFA Europa League glory to Bergamo

Baku, May 23, AZERTAC
Ademola Lookman scored all three goals as Atalanta stopped the clock on Bayer Leverkusen's extraordinary 51-game unbeaten run, and brought 66-year-old coach Gian Piero Gasperini the first major trophy of his long career, according to the official website of UEFA.
Leverkusen's reputation for late goals ensured that Atalanta could never be entirely comfortable, even at 3-0 up, but even this remarkable side could not find an escape route this time.
"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," Gian Piero Gasperini, Atalanta coach said.
"These past two years I've been able to take my game to a whole new level. Maybe it could have come earlier, but it has come now. But this is just the beginning. I hope for more nights like this and to just keep getting better and better," said Ademola Lookman, Atalanta forward.
Xabi Alonso, Leverkusen coach: "They were the better team. It's a consequence of the great thing that Gasperini has done. Atalanta are very brave. They don't mind being in one-on-one situations. When we had a slight chance to make a run, they defended very well. They have been doing it for many years. They're a special team. Normally we get in better positions with our game, but today we couldn't."
Atalanta's only previous major honour – the 1963 Coppa Italia – also had a hat-trick hero, with Angelo Domenghini claiming the match ball following a 3-1 win against Torino.
Atalanta are the first Italian team to win the Europa League since the competition replaced the old UEFA Cup. The last Italian team to win UEFA Cup was Parma in 1998/99.
Gasperini is also the first Italian coach to win the Europa League since Maurizio Sarri with Chelsea in 2019. Nine different Italian coaches have now won the UEFA Cup/Europa League.
This was Atalanta's first UEFA competition final; they were the ninth Italian club to play in the UEFA Cup/Europa League final, after Fiorentina, Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Napoli, Parma, Roma and Torino. They were also the 62nd different club to feature in a UEFA Cup/Europa League final.

Sports 2024-05-23 10:31:00