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Ademola Lookman sets UEFA Europa League record with hattrick

Posted : 23 May 2024

Ademola Olajade Lookman, the winger for both the Super Eagles and Atalanta, etched his name into the annals of UEFA Europa League history by achieving a remarkable feat: scoring a hat-trick in a one-legged final, a first in the tournament's storied history.

Lookman's journey to this historic moment had been marked by standout performances, notably during the AFCON 2023, where his skill and versatility shone brightly. However, it was his unforgettable performance against Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the Aviva Stadium in Ireland that truly cemented his place in football history.

Despite the odds stacked against them, Atalanta's coach, Alonso, made a bold decision to bench Nigerian duo Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella in favor of a more offensive lineup. This move paid off handsomely as Lookman, alongside his attacking partners Amine Adli, Jeremie Frimpong, and Florian Wirtz, proved too much for the Leverkusen defence to handle.

Lookman wasted no time in making his mark on the game, opening the scoring just twelve minutes into the match. A well-timed cut-back from Davide Zappacosta found Lookman in a prime position to tap the ball home with his left foot, giving Atalanta an early lead.

Not content with just one goal, Lookman continued to torment the Leverkusen defence throughout the match. His second goal came as he breezed past Granit Xhaka before calmly slotting the ball past Matej Kovar, doubling Atalanta's lead and putting them firmly in control of the game.

However, it was Lookman's third goal that truly stole the show. Displaying his trademark skill and agility, he left Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba in his wake before unleashing a thunderous strike into the top corner of the net, completing his hat-trick in spectacular fashion.

Lookman's historic achievement did not go unnoticed, as he was rightfully awarded the man of the match accolade, becoming the first Nigerian player to receive this honor in a UEFA Europa League final.

Together with his coach, Gian Piero Gasperini, Lookman played a pivotal role in securing Atalanta's first-ever trophy in European competition. While rumors swirl about his potential departure from the club, his unforgettable performance in Dublin will forever be remembered as a fitting farewell, should he choose to move on to new challenges.


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