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Lookman shines as Atlanta crush Bayern Leverkusen in Europa final


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Atalanta won their first major trophy in 61 years as a stunning hat-trick from Ademola Lookman ended Bayer Leverkusen’s extraordinary unbeaten run with a 3-0 win in the Europa League final.

Lookman scored twice inside the opening half an hour in Dublin and, for once, there was no response from Leverkusen.

They toiled in the second-half, Atalanta always comfortable in their lead, and with 15 minutes an uphill task became a mountainous one, as Lookman rifled a finish into the top corner to claim the match ball and see off Leverkusen, who were beaten for the first time this season in any competition to end their 51-match streak.

The Nigerian international became the first African player to bag a hat-trick in a major European final.

Xabi Alonso’s side, Bundesliga champions this season, were two wins away from an ‘Invincible treble’ ahead of their trip to Ireland, with a German Cup final this weekend, but they managed just three shots on target and little in the way of sustained threat in the face of wonderful team performance from Atalanta.

A first ever European title is only the second major piece of silverware in the club’s 117-year history.

The build-up to the final was, unsurprisingly, dominated by talk of destiny for Leverkusen, this billed as the next step on a seemingly inevitable road to a perfect campaign.

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