Thursday, May 23, 2024

Atalanta Super Champions

I had expected Bayer Leverkusen to do better. I think everyone had expected Leverkusen, undefeated for 51 matches, to take their first European title, and to continue the crowning of a super season. 

Maybe Xabi Alonso and his team took victory for granted; underestimated the fact that they were up against a Super Atalanta side under Gianpiero Gasperini, who had exactly read how to play the Leverkusen of records.

Because there was only really one team on the pitch. Despite Leverkusen having the ball more, they were unnerved by Atalanta's constant high pressure that forced constant mistakes and lost them the midfield to a splendid midfield where Ederson was just one of the Atalanta players who fought with heart and played a marvelous match.

But the man of the match was undoubtedly the English-Nigerian Ademola Lookman. With three goals he was a constant headache for Leverkusen. In particular his second goal was a splendid strike in between the defenders, and his third a classic and well-executed counter-attack goal (when Leverkusen was feebly trying to go forward). 

Atalanta are fully deserved champions and one must congratulate them for a fantastic match when they seemed to be against the odds.

Bayer Leverkusen can still take a double when the face 1.Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final. But Atalanta has shown that the record-bearing Laverkusen are not unbeatable...

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