Tuesday, June 18, 2024

´We wrote history´ – Gasperini and Lookman cherish Atalanta´s Europa League glory

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 May 2024

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Gian Piero Gasperini and Ademola Lookman both cherished creating Atalanta history after ending Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten run and securing Europa League glory.

Lookman produced a performance worthy of the most important European moment in Atalanta’s history, securing the club’s first-ever major trophy on the continent after his dazzling hat-trick.

The Nigeria winger is just the sixth player to manage a treble in a major UEFA final and the first since Jupp Heynckes’ for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Twente in 1975.

Lookman will be the toast of Bergamo when Gasperini’s side head home, boasting their first trophy in 61 years – after the Coppa Italia – following a 3-0 triumph to end Leverkusen’s 51-game unbeaten run.

“One of the best nights of my life,” the hat-trick hero told TNT Sports in Dublin.

“Amazing performance from the team, we did it, we did it, we did it! I haven’t got much else to say, but fantastic.”

Lookman is also just the second player to score a treble for an Italian side in the final of a major European competition, after Pierino Prati for Milan against Ajax in the 1969 European Cup

Preparing to leave the Aviva Stadium with the Europa League trophy in hand, Lookman could not wait to celebrate a seismic moment in the club’s history.

“We’ve got to celebrate, we made history tonight,” he added.

Gasperini, aged 66 years and 117 days on Wednesday, is the oldest coach to win his debut major European final, and the second Italian coach to win the Europa League after Maurizio Sarri in 2019.

The veteran Atalanta mastermind echoed Lookman’s sentiment, after securing just a second trophy in the Italian club’s history.

“I think we wrote history, also for the way we won it,” said Gasperini, speaking to UEFA’s official media channels.

“It was just extraordinary, we defeated Liverpool, Sporting who won the championship. When we faced Liverpool they were first in the Premier League… And now the German champions.

“Incredible. The boys were extraordinary, a memorable performance.”

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