Atalanta 3 Bayer Leverkusen 0: Europa League final as it happened

Xabi Alonso’s German champions well beaten in Dublin as Ademola Lookman scores hat-trick


A well deserved victory for Atalanta, who upset the odds and won comfortably in the end. Leverkusen and Alonso simply had no answer for the Italians. Ademola Lookman scored a brilliant hat-trick, with one of the best forward performances you’ll ever see in a final, or ever see at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Gavin Cummiskey’s match report to come, as well as analysis from Ken Early and TV View from Mary Hannigan.

Here is Gavin’s match report.

Here is Mary’s TV View.

Ken Early to come on the Irish Times website. That’s all from me for tonight, good night!


Full-time: Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 3

A first trophy since 1963 for Atalanta! What a moment for the club from Bergamo.


89 mins: A remarkable performance by Atalanta. Quite like the Anfield game, pure desire and energy, kept running and battling all night and class at the other end from Lookman.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 3


82 mins: Schick with a flick at goal from a Tella cross, the two subs combining but Atalanta block well.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 3


76 mins: Goal for Atalanta! What a goal by Lookman, it’s a Europa League final hat-trick. This is the best goal of the lot! Scamacca lays it off to Lookman who has work to do, he stepovers it past Tapsoba and then smashes it into the top corner. Brilliant.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 3


73 mins: Wirtz is trying to make things happen and hits a lovely pass to Frimpong who took a great first touch but Atalanta were alert to the danger and continue to win a lot of the 50-50 balls, as they did against Liverpool earlier in the competition.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


67 mins: Atalanta staying strong so far, Leverkusen with a few half-chances but nothing substantial. Tapsoba is booked for a tackle on Lookman who skinned him.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


60 mins: Zappacosta makes an error and Adli cuts the ball back but Frimpong blazes the ball over.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


56 mins: Leverkusen making more sustained pressure with possession as Atalanta consider a change to bring on Pasalic to get more of a hold on the game. They’re still very dangerous on the counter though, and always competing for every loose ball.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


50 mins: Big chance for Atalanta again, great last-ditch clearance from Hincapie. Another dangerous cross, this time by Koopmeiners, it was ready to be tapped in but Hincapie with the key touch. From the counter, Ederson makes an important tackle on Frimpong when the pacey winger was ready to get in for goal.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


47 mins: Leverkusen going two up top for the second half, with the dangerous Nigerian striker Boniface on. Kolasinac injured for Atalanta, so in comes 20-year-old Scalvini.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


45 mins: Two additional minutes. Xhaka takes a shot from outside the box, always curling outside the post though.

Half-time: Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2

Credit to Gasperini, the veteran Italian manager who has done a number on Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen so far. Leverkusen have a reputation for comebacks, but will have to improve considerably. Only thing is that the Italians have worked so hard off the ball, but they showed against Liverpool in the quarter-finals that they can maintain close to that level for 90 minutes. Lookman the star of the final so far, with two goals, the second a special strike. Leverkusen haven’t really got Grimaldo and others into the game in a meaningful way. Exciting second half ahead.


43 mins: Good chance by De Ketelaere, who shoots from the edge of the box after a great long pass by Scamacca, but his shot is a comfortable enough save for Kovar.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


38 mins: Leverkusen growing into the game, Wirtz almost got it in the box through on goal with one chance. Frimpong also but was well defended.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


35 mins: Best chance for Leverkusen of the game, Grimaldo gets through but his shot is tame at the keeper, seemed between two minds on what type of shot to choose. Meanwhile, bad tackle by Scamacca on Adli, gets a yellow card, Wirtz gets one for protesting.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


30 mins: Leverkusen claim a penalty after Frimpong shows his pace and Adli collides with the defender but right decision not to give the penalty. Leverkusen have a reputation for coming back in games, but have it all to do against this Atalanta team who are causing them so many problems.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


26 mins: Goal for Atalanta! Lookman again, this time with a stunning goal! A long ball from the keeper is headed back by Adli straight back to Lookman. About 30 yards out, he shimmies past the defender and powerful curls it into the bottom corner. Class.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 2


23 mins: First booking of the game for Djimsiti as he concedes a free-kick for a cynical foul. Xhaka’s long ball to Wirtz is well overhit.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 1


20 mins: An unsurprisingly exciting game so far, as was expected! First chance for Leverkusen, as Frimpong gets released down the right after a great through ball, the shot is scuffed though. Atalanta go up the pitch quickly and Lookman lays off for Scamacca, who hits over the bar.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 1


17 mins: Atalanta’s pressing has been excellent so far and their lead is well deserved. Leverkusen can’t get going at all in their usual game, Xhaka particularly struggling in midfield.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 1


13 mins: Goal for Atalanta! Ademola Lookman with the goal. After an initial corner from Atalanta, Zappacosta finds space at the side of the box and hits across the box. Lookman is most alert, and catches Palacios out, and he finishes well past Kovar. Well deserved.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 1


9 mins: Tapsoba gives away the ball sloppily and De Ketelaere runs through but Grimaldo recovers well, but Leverkusen concede a free-kick just outside the box. Palacios clears, but again Leverkusen give the ball away, this time Xhaka and Scamacca has the best chance of the game so far, Ruggeri with a good cross, Scamacca’s header at goal just blocked by Hincapie.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 0


5 mins: A foul on Adli and a free-kick in a dangerous area of Leverkusen. Wirtz’s delivery is low and poor, easily cleared. Xhaka hits a great long pass from the clearance and Musso has to react well to punch away.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 0


2 mins: Really great atmosphere at the Aviva, probably as loud as you’ll ever hear it. Leverkusen spraying it around nicely in the early stages.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 Atalanta 0


Bayern Leverkusen have scored 15 goals this season after the 90th minute in all competitions. They have won more than 40 games, lost none, scored more than 140 goals. That’s the challenge for Atalanta tonight.


Some of the scenes via social media, the Germans are out in force.


The starting teams for tonight’s match:

Bayer Leverkusen: Kovar; Hincapie, Tah, Tapsoba; Frimpong, Stanisic, Xhaka, Palacios, Grimaldo; Wirtz, Adli

Atalanta: Musso; Hien, Djimsiti, Kolasinac; Zappacosta, Ederson, De Ketelaere, Koopmeiners, Ruggeri; Scamacca, Lookman


A much talked about item in the build-up to the game has been Xabi Alonso’s summer that he spent in Kells. Kells native Gordon Manning retells the story of Alonso in Ireland, who spent the summer learning English and playing football.

“The July he was here, it rained nearly every day, but Xabi was out all the time. He’d be down the Grove or over in Rockfield playing football, he was always out playing football.

“And it was noticed that he was a bit special, it definitely was recognised at the time that he was talented. And he wasn’t going around wrapped in cotton wool either, he’d go out there with the boys and whoever was about they’d play for hours.”


Jack White captures the feeling in Dublin before the game:

“Dublin city centre was awash with scarves both red and blue on Wednesday as an estimated 48,000 people descended on the city for the Uefa Europa League Final between Atalanta and Bayer Leverkusen. Dublin Airport alone anticipated 30,000 to fly in for the match, a third of whom were expected to arrive on Wednesday for the Lansdowne Road spectacle. While many took in the sights, most notably the Molly Malone statue, in the hours leading up to the final, others congregated at Dublin Castle for the official Fan Festival. The castle was thronged with a constant influx of fans including Sabine and Frank from Oberhausen and Hamburg in Germany.”


In the preview for today’s game, soccer correspondent Gavin Cummiskey writes:

“Bayer are two games away from an unbeaten season. That the penultimate challenge is happening at the temporarily rebranded ‘Dublin Arena’ on Lansdowne Road on Wednesday night, and with Alonso committing to the club next season despite strong interest from Liverpool for the Spaniard to replace Jürgen Klopp, it seems like the first-time Bundesliga champions have already overachieved.

“Over 20,000 Italian and German fans visit Dublin for the final. This is an enormous figure when the population of Leverkusen, just over 160,000, and Bergamo, with only 120,000 inhabitants, is factored into the football equation.”


Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Europa League final between Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta, which is taking place in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium. It is the first Europa League final hosted in Dublin since the 2011 edition, which was a 1-0 victory for Porto against Braga in an all-Portuguese affair. Understandable if you don’t remember that one, but there are plenty of similarities between that Porto team and the Leverkusen team taking to the pitch in Ballsbridge tonight.

That Porto team went unbeaten in their league they won in dominant fashion, and were managed by an upcoming young coach that was wanted by all the elite teams in Europe. Replace Andres Villas-Boas (who eventually went to Chelsea) with Xabi Alonso (who has decided to stay at Leverkusen) and you have a similar vibe tonight. Atalanta themselves are managed by an exciting manager, albeit nearing the end of his career, Gian Piero Gasperini, who showed his worth when his team dismantled Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield in the quarter-final stage. Unlike Leverkusen, who are chasing a treble, Atalanta are fifth in Serie A but will qualify by the new fifth place spot through the co-efficient, but even better would be by winning the Europa League trophy. Kickoff is at 8pm.