Bayer Leverkusen's unbeaten run ended 3-0 by Atalanta and Lookman hat trick in Europa League final

DUBLIN (AP) — Spoiler alert.

Atalanta winger Ademola Lookman was unstoppable and Bayer Leverkusen’s impossible dream of completing an entire season unbeaten with a hat trick of titles proved to be just that.

Instead, Lookman was the hat trick hero in Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Leverkusen in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

It was a beating few saw coming for the new German champion whose European record unbeaten run stopped at 51 games.

Lookman, the London-born Nigeria international, was ruthless punishing big errors by Leverkusen players to score twice in the first 26 minutes of a game where the favorites never looked at ease. He capped his solo show with an arrowing shot in the 75th.

In any normal season, or a typical European final, Atalanta and its veteran coach Gian Piero Gasperini would be a feel-good soccer story.

What is not to love for neutral fans in the big-money Super League era? A well-run club from a small provincial city playing attractive soccer on a modest budget for a loyal coach to lift its first top-level trophy for 61 years.

Instead, it fell to Atalanta to play the bad guy and stop Leverkusen’s shot at European soccer immortality.

Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso must now lift his players for the German Cup final on Saturday. They will start as heavy favorite to beat second-tier Kaiserslautern in the Olympic Stadium, Berlin.


AP soccer:

Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press