Europa LeagueNigerian Footballers Abroad

Ademola Lookman scores as Atalanta storms into Europa League final

Nigerian striker Ademola Lookman scored the opening goal to propel Atalanta to a commanding 3-0 victory over Marseille thus securing their spot in the Europa League final against Bayer Leverkusen.

Lookman’s crucial goal set the tone for Atalanta’s win as they outplayed Marseille, ultimately sealing a convincing 4-1 aggregate win after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Alongside Lookman’s stellar performance, goals from Matteo Ruggeri and El Bilal Toure further cemented Atalanta’s triumph, leaving Marseille reeling from a disappointing defeat.

The Gewiss Stadium bore witness to Atalanta’s relentless attacking display, defying the prediction of French President Emmanuel Macron, who had tipped Marseille to emerge victorious.

In the second leg clash, Ademola Lookman and his teammates had other plans, dashing Marseille’s hopes and setting the stage for an electrifying final showdown against unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen, who dramatically held AS Roma in Germany to advance.

With the Europa League final set betweeen Atalanta and Bayer Leverkusen, the najor talking point in Nigeria will be the potential faceoff of Super Eagles stars, Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella in Leverkusen colour vs Lookman who represents Atalanta.

Meanwhile, Atalanta, a traditionally provincial team who have under Gian Piero Gasperini habitually punched above their weight, could now end the season with two trophies as they face Juventus in the Italian Cup on Wednesday.

That is a remarkable achievement for a club whose only major trophy is the 1963 Italian Cup, while the furthest Atalanta had previously gone in European competition was the last four in the 1988 Cup Winners’ Cup when they were a second division team.

Atalanta can also qualify for next season’s revamped Champions League through Serie A as they currently sit in Italy’s fifth and final position for Europe’s top club competition.

They host Roma on Sunday night in a match which could well decide who finishes in the top five.

READ MORE: Bayer Leverkusen pulls off dramatic comeback to secure Europa League final berth

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