The Roar
The Roar


51 and done: Lookman ends Leverkusen's unbeaten run as stunning hat trick delivers UEFA Europa League

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22nd May, 2024

All good things come to an end – and that includes Bayern Leverkusen’s epic unbeaten run, which is over after 51 games following a 3-0 defeat to Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League Final in Dublin.

Much as it is obvious to focus on Leverkusen and their defeat, this story should be about Atalanta, their manager Gian Piero Gasperini and Lookman, who richly deserved their win and claim some history of their own with a first major trophy since 1963.

Gasperini has long been one of the best managers in Europe, and stuck fast to Atalanta for eight years despite plenty of offers to go elsewhere and has finally been rewarded with silverware.

Lookman is a similar triumph for perserverance. Once of the highest-rated youngsters in England, the London-born winger has been often seen as a talent who failed to deliver, shuttling between three Premier League clubs and Leipzig before finding a home in Bergamo.

Now, nobody can doubt his talent and his three goals, including a long range effort and a stunning strike into the top corner for the third, underlined every bit of his skill.

Watch every match of the UEFA Europa League exclusive & ad-free, live & on demand on Stan Sport.

Xabi Alonso and Leverkusen will have known that their run would end eventually, but they will be disappointed that it comes at this juncture.


The club – once known as ‘Neverkusen’ due to their propensity to lose cup finals – had an opportunity to shake that tag.

Having won the Bundesliga, they can justifiably say that they had put it to bed anyway, but that streak dating back to the 1993 German Cup Final extends to seven, with five domestic finals lost, a Champions League runners’ up in 2001 and now this.

Lucky for them, they get another chance to put it to bed at the weekend with the Pokalfinale in Berlin against Kaiserslautern.