Atalanta knocked Liverpool out of Europe and now ended Xabi Alonso’s quest for an unprecedented unbeaten season in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

The Reds were tactically inferior to the Italian side in their quarter-final tie, one of the few teams to outplay Jurgen Klopp’s side to such an extent.

And the treatment that Atalanta gave on Merseyside was served up again, this time in Dublin in the Europa League final against Bayer Leverkusen.

Former Everton man Ademolo Lookman’s hat-trick secured a 3-0 victory for the Italians and handed Alonso’s side their first defeat of the season in their 52nd game of the campaign.

It was another impressive display from Gian Piero Gasperini’s men, who undone Leverkusen from the first whistle to the final whistle to secure only their second major trophy in 117 years.

In the space of six weeks, Atalanta knocked out Liverpool, were the first side to beat Leverkusen and lift the trophy – hugely impressive and tonic for those still reeling from the Reds’ departure.

The result means Alonso’s unbeaten run ends at 51 games, still an incredible achievement – ​​although they can still win the German Cup double.

Leverkusen have already clinched the Bundesliga title and now have one more game left this season, the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday against second division side FC Kaiserslautern.

Two trophies and only one defeat the whole season, few would say no to that!

Alonso remained elegant in defeat, telling TNT Sports: “It wasn’t meant to be, the unbeaten streak has come to an end, but congratulations to Atalanta. They deserve it, so there’s nothing more to say.”

The result means Atalanta will be playing in next season’s Champions League alongside Liverpool and Leverkusen, although perhaps neither are too keen to meet them so soon!


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