UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE UEL Final: Alonso Aims To Maintain Unbeaten Record Against Atalanta

Bayer Leverkusen has been an unstoppable force this season, and the Bundesliga champions will aim to maintain that record as they face Atalanta in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

The Germans will play in a European final for the first time since finishing second to Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League final, and they will be desperate to break their two-game losing record against their Italian opponents.

Atalanta defeated the Germans in both legs of their Europa League last-16 tie in 2022, and Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso understands that his team cannot afford the type of concentration lapses that cost them dearly two years ago.

Read Also: UEL Final: Gasperini Says Atalanta Well Prepared Ahead For Leverkusen

However, because Leverkusen will be entering the final at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on the heels of a formidable 51-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, Alonso is confident that his players will be better prepared for the challenge that lies ahead as they attempt to win the second title of a possible treble this season.

“In the last five years, Atalanta have always built on their ideas.

“They know what they want and are successful in Italy and Europe,” Alonso, whose side will also feature in the German Cup final against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, told reporters.

“But we’ve had a lot of games in Germany against teams that play similarly.

“Tactics, intelligence and mentality will be required tomorrow.

“We need to make the most of space intelligently.

‘ And we also need to decide what tempo to play in what areas of the game.”

Leverkusen ended Bayern Munich’s 11-year title stranglehold in Germany this season, and their unbeaten streak earned them the nickname ‘Neverlusen’.

However, Alonso insists that the record run hasn’t altered their outlook on the final.

“When you go to the final you don’t go there to make up the numbers, you go to win it.

“We will try and make one last effort,” Alonso said.

“We’ll prepare like we did for all the games before. We haven’t lost in 51 games, so my boys know how to adapt to different situations.

“That also applies to the final.

“From the start of the campaign, we believed in our brand of football and that’s right at the heart of this successful run.”

Alonso also praised his Italian opponents, who have only one chance of winning a trophy this season after losing the Coppa Italia to Juventus last week.

They are currently placed fifth in Serie A, which has already been won by Inter Milan.

“They have a great coach (Gian Piero Gasperini) and great players like Gianluca Scamacca and Charles De Ketelaere.

“It’s an honour for me to be able to play against such a great team here tomorrow.”

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