Europa League Xabi Alonso opens up : Why Leverkusen lost Europa League final to Atalanta

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso rues the mistakes which cost his side in Europa League final on Wednesday night against Atalanta Bergamo (0-3).

Many were waiting for a new comeback from Leverkusen when they were trailed by the Italian side in Dublin.

But the reaction from Granit Xhaka and teammates never came and Ademola Lookman who scored a brace in the first half made it a hat-trick with a third goal 14 minutes prior to the end of the game.

The 3-0 scoreline never changed and Atalanta won it’s first-ever Europa League ahead of favourites Leverkusen.

Speaking on the loss, Xabi Alonso said : “Atalanta were better than us and they deserve the trophy,” the the Spanish gaffer said in his post-match press conference.

“It wasn’t our day. We’ve had a bad night. It hurts that it happened in such an important match.

“The normality is not to suffer a first defeat in the 52nd game. It’s exceptional what we achieved and we should be proud. But it’s painful.

“We weren’t able to play as we wished.

“After the first goal they showed a great deal of energy and we couldn’t find solutions to counteract that.

“We couldn’t impose ourselves or fashion goalscoring opportunities”, he added.

Now, the remaining trophy for Leverkusen is the German Cup final and Xabi Alonso’s focus is fully on it : “To achieved what we have for a club like Leverkusen is great,” Alonso added on TNT Sports.

“To be in the last week of the season having lifted the Bundesliga and playing [the Europa League final], we couldn’t make it, but then going for the Pokal [German Cup] too means a lot.”


Aimé ATTI is a bilingual journalist who breathes football and shares his passion on Africa Top Sports

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