Europa League: the Invicibles of Leverkusen struck down by Ademola Lookman

Europa League: the Invicibles of Leverkusen struck down by Ademola Lookman
Europa League: the Invicibles of Leverkusen struck down by Ademola Lookman

You had to see it at the final whistle. With her impeccable locks, her smile even more radiant than usual. And his legs are a little heavy too. Nothing more logical after such a riot of energy. But Charles De Ketelaere has once again found the resources to extend this joy of registering his name on the Europa League list into the Dublin night.

Charles De Ketelaere wins the Europa League: Atalanta corrects Leverkusen thanks to a hat-trick from Lookman! (3-0)

After Wilmots, Collen and Lombaerts when it was still called the Uefa Cup, after Fellaini, Courtois and Hazard, twice, CDK was added to the list of Belgian expatriates victorious in the C3.

Enough to confirm his crazy renaissance season, far from the ghost that lurked at AC Milan where he has no desire to return. Which can be understood given his total happiness experienced in Bergamo.

This final marked the history of Atalanta, which had only won one Italian Cup in its entire history. It also sealed the end of another story, very big but which could have been frankly immense: that of the invincibility of Bayer Leverkusen.

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Xabi Alonso’s men had not yet experienced defeat this season, they waited until their 52nd meeting to see their series end and chose their moment rather poorly. Even if, for the moment, they suffered more from the events, they who had become accustomed to dictating their course. The fault of the infernal pressing put in place by Gasperini’s Atalanta. Who won his match in the match with his young colleague.

His players stifled the Germans, constantly biting their calves to take them by the throat, without ever giving them the slightest space, especially in the first half, to unfold the thread of their game. To the point of transforming an exciting formation into a team totally neutral. Unrecognizable.

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If the demonstration was collective, it was also magnified by the talent of Ademola Lookman who had the best evening of her career.

The Nigerian joined a very closed circle: that of players who scored a hat-trick in the European Cup final, which no one had done since 1975 and Jupp Heynckes. The striker was able to take advantage of Palacios’ passivity to strike a first time when receiving a cross from Zappacosta (12th) before showing his speed of execution in a sublime sequence where he mystified Xhaka with a small bridge to then deceive Kovar (26th) helpless and also let go by Tapsoba, eliminated much too easily on the third goal (75th). Enough to propel him into another dimension. Like De Ketelaere and a whole club.

The best: Ademola Lookman 9/10

Ademola Lookman easily gets the better of Edmond Tapsoba before scoring his third goal. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) ©AFP or licensors

The Nigerian had already shown Marseille in all colors in the semi-final with a goal and an assist. He raised his level of play an even higher level. His liveliness allowed him to undermine the politeness of Palacios. But what can we say about his little bridge sequence – curled shot on the second goal before he punctuated his evening with a historic hat-trick.

The flop: Florian Wirtz 4/10

Florian Wirtz in difficulty against Teun Koopmeiners. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) ©AFP or licensors

Annoyed by a physical problem for a fortnight, the German prodigy inevitably saw his preparation for this very big meeting be thwarted. First aligned in a role of false center forward in the first period, then accompanied by Victor Boniface afterwards, he never stopped offering. But without ever being really dangerous in the end. Replaced in the 80th by Schick.

The technical

Atalanta Bergamo: Musso; Djimsiti, Hien, Kolasinac (46th Scalvini); Zappacosta (84th Hateboer), Ederson, Koopmeiers, Ruggeri (90th Toloi); De Ketelaere (57th Pasalic), Scamacca (84th Touré); Lookman.

Bayer Leverkusen: Kovar; Taspoba, Tah, Hincapie; Stanisic (46th Boniface), Xhaka, Palacios (68th Andrich), Grimaldo (68th Losek); Frimpong (80th Tella), Adli, Wirtz (80th Schick).

Referee: Mr. Kovacs (Rou).

Warnings : Djimsiti, Wirtz, Scamacca, Zappacosta, Tapsoba, Koopmeiers, Andrich.

The goals : 12th Lookman (1-0), 26th Lookman (2-0), 75th Lookman (3-0).

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