Nigeria’s Lookman Hits Historic Hat-trick As Atalanta Win Europa League

Nigeria's Lookman Hits Historic Hat-trick As Atalanta Win Europa League

A hat-trick and a sensational performance from Ademola Lookman ended Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten run and and brought their dreams of a treble to an end in a humbling 3-0 defeat to Atalanta at an incredibly noisy Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Wednesday night

The stakes could not have been higher for Leverkusen, who came into the tie chasing a 52nd consecutive match without defeat and the second piece of their three-trophy sweep.

Atalanta, meanwhile, were in uncharted territory, having reached a first European final in their 117-year history.

It was a huge day for both clubs and both sets of fans were clearly intent on enjoying their day in the Irish capital, getting into their seats early and ringing out their chants from well before kick-off.

But it was the Italian side who looked far more at ease during an opening 45 minutes that could not have gone any better for them.

Extra.ie. reports that the Bergamo outfit made a far brighter start than their nervy German counterparts and it did not take long for them to open the scoring.

After Lookman overcooked a corner on Atalanta’s left, Teun Koopmeiners collected it across on the far flank and opened up Davide Zappacosta down the channel. The former Chelsea man cut one back across the area in the direction of Lookman on the far side. Catching Exequiel Palacios completely unawares, the ex-Everton star skipped past the midfielder and curled a beautiful and unstoppable effort into the near post.

The goal did little to calm Alonso’s side, who appeared to be frustrated and struggled to get back into the game in the minutes after going behind.

Atalanta kept on applying the pressure and doubled their lead only minutes later when Lookman fired home an even better strike.

After losing the ball in midfield from a goal-kick, it fell at the feet of Lookman who, after a brief pause, skinned Granit Xhaka in a flash and launched a pitch-perfect curled effort past Matej Kovar.

Now down 2-0 for a fourth time in this year’s knockout stage, Alonso’s charges once again left it all to do for themselves

The latter periods of the half saw the German champions grow into the game but their efforts generated little, too often relying on the pace of Jeremy Frimpong to try get behind the Atalanta rearguard.

LEADERSHIP reports that Ademola Lookman has scored more goals in the Europa League final than he did in three seasons of Premier League football with Everton.

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