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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Lookman scores a historic hat-trick and helps Atalanta win the Europa League

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Nigerian Ademola Lookman etched his name in European football history on Wednesday night, becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in a Europa League final.

The Nigerian forward’s phenomenal performance propelled Atalanta to a resounding 3-0 victory over Bayern Leverkusen, claiming their first major trophy in 61 years.

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Atalanta, under the leadership of coach Gian Piero Gasperini, has never lifted a major trophy.

The recent 1-0 defeat to Juventus in the Coppa Italia final only intensified their hunger for this European glory.

Their rivals, Bayer Leverkusen, arrived in Dublin with an unbeaten record in all competitions this season, having already won the Bundesliga title under Xabi Alonso.

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Lookman lit the flames of victory early in the exciting encounter in Dublin. The Nigerian striker put Atalanta ahead with a well-taken goal in the 12th minute.

The crucial goal set the tone for a dominant performance from the Italian team.

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Lookman wasn’t done there. He doubled Atalanta’s lead in the 26th minute with a moment of individual brilliance.

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He sliced ​​his way through the Leverkusen defence, leaving Granit Xhaka bewildered with a nutmeg, before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far corner.

The Nigerian completed his hat-trick in the 75th minute, capping a sensational performance.

A perfectly weighted pass from Gianluca Scamacca found Lookman, who deftly maneuvered past Edmond Tapsoba with a step forward before unleashing a powerful left-footed shot into the top corner from a difficult angle.

Atalanta’s relentless attacking force proved too much for Leverkusen to handle. Despite their impressive unbeaten run, the German team found themselves outmatched and overwhelmed.

This historic victory not only gives Atalanta their long-awaited trophy, but also makes them the first Italian team to win the Europa League.

Lookman’s heroics also add him to the prestigious list of Nigerians who have conquered this European competition. He joins the ranks of Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow, 2004/05), Taribo West (Inter Milan, 1997/98), John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses (both with Chelsea, 2012/13), and Samuel Chukwueze ( Villarreal, 2020). /twenty-one).

After losing two finals this year, the AFCON final and the Coppa Italia, Lookman will be happy to finish the season in the best way possible.

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