For the first time this season, Bayer Leverkusen lost a game. Atalanta collected its first international trophy by defeating the German side in the Europa League Final on Wednesday. Leverkusen, which already secured the Bundesliga and can still win the DFB-Pokal Final, will not be the second German side to win a treble. Instead, it is Atalanta to earn a second top trophy in its history.

One week ago, Atalanta fell to Juventus in the Coppa Italia Final in a bid to claim a second title in that competition. Having effectively secured a Champions League spot in Serie A this season, this was the last truly meaningful game for the Italian side.

The difference in the game was Ademola Lookman. The former Everton, Fulham and Leicester winger scored a hat trick in the Europa League Final. In doing so, the Nigerian is the first player to score a hat trick in a Europa League Final. Interestingly, it was Lookman’s first career hat trick. A disjointed Leverkusen side never looked like much of a threat. Xabi Alonso’s side, which always had a late, dramatic comeback in the cards, totaled just three shots on target, never truly testing Juan Musso in the Atalanta net.

This is also the crowning moment for Gian Piero Gasperini. Gasperini has been the manager of Atalanta since the 2016/17 season, and he has been instrumental in turning Atalanta into a dangerous side. Despite three third-place finishes and a pair of fourth places, Atalanta lacked a trophy. Three runner-up finishes in the Coppa Italia left the side frustrated. Now, it is a European champion bound for a return to the UEFA Champions League.

Atalanta is the first Italian team to win the Europa League or UEFA Cup since Parma in 1999.

Lookman’s hat trick guides Atalanta to Europa League dominance

Leverkusen has not been known to have elite starts to games. Instead, the German outfit made its work known in the second half, often relying on late-game dramatics to rescue results. Atalanta took advantage. Twelve minutes into the game, Lookman reacted the fastest on a cross in the Leverkusen box. His outstretched left foot dunked the ball into the back of the net.

Lookman secured his brace after just 26 minutes. Sloppy hold-up play from Leverkusen let the ball fall to Lookman. The Nigerian skinned Granit Xhaka before his low curling effort beat Matěj Kovář. Atalanta would carry that two-goal lead into the second half, with Leverkusen struggling to mount any form of offense. Atalanta’s defensive shape stunted the creativity of players like Florian Wirtz and Jeremie Frimpong.

By comparison, Atalanta always looked dangerous. The best of Lookman’s three goals was the third. With 15 minutes to play in the 90, Lookman picked up the ball just outside the Leverkusen box. One stepover later, the Nigerian had the space for a thunderous left-footed strike that flew into the top corner of the goal. That was the moment of defeat for Leverkusen, as Xabi Alonso looked helplessly at a three-goal deficit.

Even Leverkusen, which was unbeatable for the entire season to this point, could not overcome a gap this large. Much less, it failed to penetrate the Atalanta defense at all. The Italian side claimed the Europa League on the biggest night in the club’s history.