Europe: Europa League
3 - 0
(2 - 0)
A. Lookman (12), A. Lookman (26), A. Lookman (75)
By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Lookman hat-trick stuns Leverkusen in Europa League final to end Werkself's unbeaten run

Bayer Leverkusen's 51-game unbeaten streak came to an end on Wednesday night, as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Atalanta in the Europa League final.


Fresh from celebrating the Bundesliga title and riding an extraordinary 51-match unbeaten run, Bayer Leverkusen went into Wednesday night's Europa League final against Atalanta in Dublin as heavy favorites.

However, Die Werkself were unable to live up to expectations as they fell to a disappointing and well-deserved 3-0 defeat at the hands of their Italian Serie A opponents.

Former RB Leipzig man Ademola Lookman proved to be Leverkusen's biggest problem, scoring all three of Atalanta's goals.

The German champions started uncharacteristically poorly and Atalanta took advantage of this with Lookman's opener in the 12th minute. Zappacosta's ball across the face of goal caught Exequiel Palacios napping and Lookman popped up behind him to fire high past Kovar.

Lookman struck again midway through the first half, this time with a stunning individual effort. The 26-year-old beat Granit Xhaka to the ball before unleashing a powerful shot into the far corner that left Kovar with no chance.

Die Werkself tried to claw their way back into the game before the break and had a couple of promising chances, but the end product was lacking, such as in the 32nd minute when Alejandro Grimaldo sent the ball straight into the arms of Juan Musso, who was running out of his goal.

Xabi Alonso tried to change the game for Leverkusen with a series of substitutions, first bringing on Victor Boniface at half-time and later introducing Robert Andrich, Adam Hlozek, Patrik Schick and Nathan Tella.

However, the big chances never really materialized for the usually dominant German champions, who were dealt a further blow in the 75th minute when Ademola Lookman completed his hat-trick. 

Atalanta raced away on the break and the ball ended up at the feet of Lookman, who took a couple of quick touches before smashing the ball past Matej Kovar again to effectively put the game out of reach for Leverkusen and secure the Europa League trophy.

The defeat is a big blow for a Leverkusen side that has been riding a wave of positivity all season, but they can still finish the season strong with a win over Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday.

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