The treble is gone, the historic series was broken in the final on the big European stage: Bayer Leverkusen lost the final of the Europa League and suffered their first defeat in the 52nd competitive game of the season. The spoilsport for the German champions in the 0:3 (0:2) against Atalanta Bergamo in Dublin was the outstanding former Leipzig player Ademola Lookman, who scored three goals (12th, 26th and 75th) against an unusually nervous and erratic Bayer team. Minute). In the DFB Cup final on Saturday against 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Bayer is playing for the double.

In their third European final after winning the UEFA Cup in 1988 and losing in the Champions League in 2002, Leverkusen suffered their second defeat. Bergamo, on the other hand, won their first international title in the first final and is the first Italian winner ever in the Europa League, which was introduced in 2011.

The Bayer fans who came along after the championship cup party gave their players an atmospheric reception in the best football weather. In Leverkusen, almost 10,000 people also watched the game during public viewing. But right from the start it didn’t look like another title evening at all. Even before conceding the first goal, Bayer made an unusually large number of simple errors in the build-up to the game and appeared surprised by their attacking opponents.

Lookman capitalized on a mistake from Exequiel Palacios following a corner. Coach Xabi Alonso accepted the goal without much emotion – after all, his team had come from behind so many times this season. But only tentative offensive attempts followed. Bergamo goalkeeper Juan Musso easily caught a harmless shot from Josip Stanisic (18th). Just a few minutes later, Lookman did much better on the other side: The 26-year-old gave Leverkusen’s cup goalkeeper Matej Kovar no chance with his well-placed shot.

And now? Even a 2-0 defeat in the past few months does not mean that Leverkusen will lose. In the Europa League alone, Bayer had conceded two goals three times and then came back. But Atalanta, who narrowly lost the Italian Cup final last week, proved to be the tough opponents expected. Before the game, even star coach Pep Guardiola warned against the Italian club.

Leverkusen didn’t have any promising chances before half-time and had to be wide awake to avoid conceding their third goal. Alonso sent 24-year-old Amine Adli into the game as the only leader, but like the rest of the team, he had major problems finding his usual form. The coach reacted during the break, but initially only brought in striker Victor Boniface for Stanisic.

Bayer still didn’t play Sturm und Drang at the start of the second half. Atalanta continued to find it easy to take the ball away from Leverkusen and quickly get towards the goal. One of the German champions’ problems was that national player Florian Wirtz, who got fit in time, was unable to provide any impetus.

After a good hour, at least a little dynamic changed, the final now took place more often and longer around Atalanta’s penalty area. But Leverkusen ran out of time, Alonso brought on midfield boss Robert Andrich and striker Adam Hlozek (68th/69th). With the lead behind them, Bergamo increasingly retreated, but remained dangerous: Lookman scored his third goal with a powerful left-footed shot. The final was decided.