Ademola Lookman stole the show with a stunning hat-trick as Atalanta secured a 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday night.

The stage was set at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, with three Nigerian stars in the spotlight. Lookman started for Atalanta, while Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella awaited their chance from the Bayer Leverkusen bench.

Die Werkself entered the match as slight favorites, boasting an incredible 51-game unbeaten run across all competitions. However, Atalanta, still smarting from their Coppa Italia defeat to Juventus, had other plans.

The opening exchanges were a tactical battle, with Atalanta effectively stifling Leverkusen’s usually free-flowing attack. Their strategy paid dividends in the first half. Lookman, displaying his attacking prowess, first met a Davide Zappacosta cross with a well-placed finish for the opening goal.

Leverkusen’s response was underwhelming, and Lookman doubled Atalanta’s lead shortly after. He showcased his skill with a delightful nutmeg on Granit Xhaka before unleashing a powerful shot past the Leverkusen goalkeeper.

Despite Boniface’s introduction in the second half, Leverkusen continued to struggle. Lookman remained a constant threat, completing his hat-trick with a clinical finish after a swift Atalanta counter-attack.

Bayer Leverkusen, uncharacteristically subdued, could not find a way back into the game. The final whistle confirmed a historic night for Atalanta, securing their first major trophy under manager Gian Piero Gasperini since his appointment in 2016. Lookman, the undisputed hero, walked away with the match ball and a place in Atalanta folklore.