Lookman makes African history with hat-trick in Europa League final

Lookman makes African history with hat-trick in Europa League final

Nigeria forward Ademola Lookman became the first African player to score three goals in the final of a major UEFA tournament.

Lookman scored two quick-fire goals in the first-half with a third in the second half to give Atalanta a 30 lead in the first half of the UEFA Europa League final against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday.

The hat-trick also made Lookman the third Nigeria international to score in the final of a major European competition after Alex Iwobi (2019 Europa League for Arsenal) and Joe Aribo (2022 Europa League final for Rangers).

The Super Eagles attacker broke the deadlock at the Aviva Stadium in the 12th minute following an assist from Davide Zappacosta.

Lookman turned up again in the 26th minute to double the lead to put Atalanta in control at the break.

After the restart, the former RB Leipzig forward haunted Xabi Alonso’s team once again with his third goal of the night in the 75th minute.

The hat-trick extended his tally in the European competition to five goals in 11 appearances.

The goals are on course to make Atalanta history as the Serie A club seek to end their 61-year trophy drought in all competitions.

For Bayer Leverkusen, Lookman’s heroics snapped their unbeaten run in all competitions this season even though they ended the 2023-24 Bundesliga campaign with an unblemished record.

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