Ademola Lookman Shines with Hat-Trick as Atalanta Triumphs in Europa League Final

Nigerian Star Leads Atalanta to Historic Victory Over Bayer Leverkusen

In a stunning performance, Super Eagles winger Ademola Lookman scored a brilliant hat-trick to lead Atalanta to a 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League final on Wednesday, held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

Match Highlights

German champions Bayer Leverkusen featured Amine Adli in attack, supported by Florian Wirtz and Jeremie Frimpong on the wings. Atalanta’s lineup saw Gianluca Scamacca leading the line with Lookman and Charles De Ketelaere on the flanks.

Atalanta took the lead when Davide Zappacosta found space down the right, allowing Lookman to beat defender Exequiel Palacios and fire home the opener. The Italians continued to press and were rewarded 14 minutes later when another Leverkusen error handed possession to Lookman, who skipped past a defender and curled a fierce shot into the bottom-right corner from just outside the box.

Leverkusen, despite showing brief flashes of attacking potential, struggled to find the net. They brought on top scorer Victor Boniface for defender Josip Stanisic at halftime, but it did little to change the game’s dynamics.

Lookman completed his hat-trick with a stunning left-footed strike into the top corner on a counterattack, sealing the win for Atalanta. This remarkable feat marked only the sixth hat-trick in a major European final and the first since Jupp Heynckes for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1975 UEFA Cup.

Historic Achievement

Atalanta’s victory ended a 61-year wait since their last major trophy, the 1963 Italian Cup. The win also marked the first major silverware for coach Gian Piero Gasperini, concluding his two-decade-long pursuit. The triumph halted Bayer Leverkusen’s impressive 51-game unbeaten run.

“It’s one of the best nights of my life,” said Lookman, cradling the match ball as he received his winners’ medal. “It was an amazing performance from the team. We did it… We made history tonight.”

Coaches’ Remarks

Atalanta coach Gasperini praised his team’s aggressive approach: “We needed to be attacking, it was not enough just to defend. We know these teams are great at attacking. Everyone was extraordinary. The way we did it was the most important thing, we deserved it without a shadow of a doubt against such a strong team. Winning the Europa League is an extraordinary achievement.”

The victory secures Atalanta’s place in history, celebrating their second major trophy in the club’s 117-year history.

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