Leverkusen is not unbeatable after all

Leverkusen is not unbeatable after all
Ruggeri and Lookman (right)

The fifth-placed team in the Italian Serie A, Atalanta Bergamo, has ended Leverkusen’s proud streak and inflicted the German champions’ first defeat of the season after 51 unbeaten competitive games. The club from Lombardy won the Europa League final in Dublin 3-0 (2-0) and thus celebrated the greatest success in the club’s history. Previously, a cup triumph in 1962/63 had been the highlight.

  • Read more: Why Salzburg had to hope for a victory from Leverkusen

“I am incredibly proud of my team, they have done a great job,” said Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who has been in office since June 14, 2016. The 66-year-old had sent his team onto the pitch with the perfect concept – the surprise tactic.

Man of the evening was Nigerian international Ademola Lookman, who scored a hat-trick. The 26-year-old, whose market value is estimated at 30 million euros, scored in the 12th, 26th and 75th minutes. Leverkusen tried to react, but this time they were unsuccessful, which extended the nail-biting match for Austria’s runners-up FC Salzburg.

  • Read more: Toni Kroos (34) announces his retirement

If the Werkself had won the Europa League, the Mozart City team would have avoided a qualifying round for the Champions League and would have at least secured a place in the Europa League group stage. That can still happen if Atalanta moves up to fourth place in Serie A. It’s not impossible.

Leverkusen still has a chance of the double. The DFB Cup final against Kaiserslautern will take place in Berlin on Saturday (8 p.m., ARD).

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