Lookman Scores As Atalanta Reach Europa League Final

Italian side, Atalanta reached the Europa League final on Thursday night after beating Marseille 3-0 to earn its biggest win in the history of the competition.

Goals from Nigerian star, Ademola Lookman, academy product Matteo Ruggeri and El Bilal Toure put Atalanta through to their first-ever European final with a 4-1 aggregate win in front of delirious fans in Bergamo.

It was entirely deserved for Atalanta to go to the Dublin final, where they will meet Bayer Leverkusen later this month, following a commanding display in which Marseille barely had a kick in yet another dismal away performance from the Ligue 1 team.

After Ruggeri gave Atalanta a two-goal lead in the 52nd minute, Jean-Louis Gasset’s team was unable to come back, with Toure adding the cherry in stoppage time. Marseille has only won four games away from home across all competitions this season.

“We’ll try to put them in difficulty, but we can’t think about that now, we have to take it one game at a time,” said Ruggeri.

“Let’s hope we can keep going, we’ve just got to enjoy the moment and give it our best shot in the final.”

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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.

Africa Today News, New York

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