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Leverkusen unbeaten run ends in Europa League final

  • May 23, 2024
  • 2 min read
Leverkusen unbeaten run ends in Europa League final

The clock has finally struck midnight on the Cinderella story of the season. Bayer Leverkusen has lost the Europa League final to Italian side Atalanta, putting an end to the German champions’ record breaking 51 game unbeaten run.

Spanish manager who won the 2010 World Cup with La Roja, Xabi Alonso has led his team to their first ever Bundesliga title without losing a single game across all competitions. Alonso, a former Bayern Munich player, ended the streak of the Bavarian giants.

Ademola Lookman ended Bayer Leverkusen’s pursuit of a historic unbeaten treble, scoring a spectacular hat trick and sealing Europa League victory for Atalanta in a 3-0 win in Dublin. Former Everton and RB Leipzig forward, Lookman played the game of his career, upsetting the odds and giving the Italian side its first European trophy.

However, Bayer Leverkusen still made history. Its unbeaten run lasted 51 games and 361 days. The last game they lost, in May 2023, was against VfL Bochim which also ended 3-0.

“It wasn’t lost in terms of attitude, it was a football thing,” Alonso said. “It happens, it’s football, today wasn’t meant to be. They were better.”

Leverkusen were hoping for their second European trophy and their first since the 1988 UEFA Cup, the precursor to the Europa League.

“It’s exceptional what we have done. Today is painful, but it is deserved as well,” Alonso said. “These defeats in a final, you don’t forget them. We had a big chance, we put everything on today, but it didn’t go as planned, we weren’t on our best level and we will learn from today. How we deal with the pain will be a challenge for us.”

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