Bayer Leverkusen lost 3-0 to Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League final. - © IMAGO/Jose Breton
Bayer Leverkusen lost 3-0 to Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League final. - © IMAGO/Jose Breton

Bayer Leverkusen's record 51-game unbeaten run ends in UEFA Europa League final defeat to Atalanta


Bayer Leverkusen were beaten 3-0 by Atalanta in the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League final, bringing an end to their record 51-game unbeaten run and hopes of landing a continental treble.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-3 Atalanta
Goals: 0-1
Lookman 12' (assist: Zappacosta), 0-2 Lookman 26', 0-3 Lookman 75' (assist: Scamacca)

Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen were fresh off becoming the first team in history to go unbeaten through a full Bundesliga campaign, but they were second best for long stretches of the first half. Gianluca Scamacca had already gone close for Atalanta, when former RB Leipzig attacker Ademola Lookman stole in ahead of Exequiel Palacios to fire the Italians in front with an unstoppable strike from inside the Bayer area. Juan Musso smothered an effort from Bayern Munich loanee defender Josip Stanišić, before Lookman doubled his tally with a sensational long-range effort 25 minutes in. Álex Grimaldo's tame chipped attempt was the closest the 2023/24 Bundesliga champions went to getting on the scoresheet before the break.

The introduction of Victor Boniface injected some attacking purpose into proceedings after the restart. The Nigerian striker was involved in the build-up as Amine Adli's teasing cross was palmed out by Musso, only for Jeremie Frimpong to send the follow-up off target. Musso then prevented Grimaldo from getting on the end of a Florian Wirtz pass into the box to sum up Leverkusen's frustrations. Late goals had got Alonso's side through in the previous rounds, but Atalanta had not read the script. Lookman finished off a brilliant counter to complete his hat-trick and all but wrap up the title. Substitute Patrik Schick went close to reducing the arrears, but it just wasn't Leverkusen's night. They will have the chance to make amends, though, in Saturday's DFB Cup final with Kaiserslautern.

Match stats

  • Bayer lost for the first time since defeat to Bochum on the final day of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season. Their 51-game streak is a European record.
  • Leverkusen have won 42 of 52 unbeaten games in 2023/24, drawing the other nine and losing once. 
  • Die Werkself were prevented from scoring for only the second time this season.
  • Alonso's side can still win the domestic double.


Leverkusen: Kovář - Stanišić (Boniface 46'), Tah (c), Tapsoba - Frimpong (Tella 81'), Xhaka, Palacios (Andrich 69'), Hincapié - Wirtz (Schick 81'), Adli, Grimaldo (Hložek 69')
Unsued subs: Hrádecký, Lomb, Kossounou, Hofmann, Borja Iglesias, Arthur, Puerta
Xabi Alonso

Atalanta: Musso - Djimsiti (c), Hien, Kolašinac (Scalvini 46') - Zappacosta (Hateboer 84'), Éderson, Koopmeiners, Ruggeri (Tóloi 90'+1) - De Ketelaere (Pašalić 57'), Scamacca (Touré 84'), Lookman
Unused subs: Carnesecchi, Rossi, Holm, De Roon, Bakker, Adopo, Miranchuk
Out: -
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini

As it happened!

3 - 0

(2 - 0)

Europa League
Final Dublin Arena, Dublin
+ 4

Heads up for Berlin

There will be very little time for Leverkusen to mull over this one with Saturday's DFB Cup final against Kaiserslautern on the horizon. The runners-up in the Europa League final receive their silver medals but the Bundesliga champions have another shot at gold in just a few days.

Full-time: Atalanta 3-0 Bayer04

For once this season, it's not been Leverkusen's night and they lose the Europa League final to an Ademola Lookman hat-trick. Xabi Alonso's side are on the end of a defeat for the first time in 2023/24, their unbeaten record standing at 51 games.
+ 3

Boniface hunting

The Nigerian striker sends a shot against Musso and that is probably that.
+ 2

Hložek goes close

Hložek sends a rising, right-footed shot narrowly wide of the upright.
+ 1



Record nears end

After an almost unbelievable 51 games unbeaten this season, Leverkusen are facing into their first defeat of 2023/24.

Atalanta cheer

The Italian supporters are understandably ecstatic as they cheer every pass their team makes that brings them closer to the final whistle.





Schick goes close

Schick almost reduces the arrears with a super flick at the near post which is deflected just off target.


Tella and Schick are on for the closing stages of this final.

Wirtz shot

Florian Wirtz sends a tame shot into the arms of Musso.

Lookman hat-trick

Atalanta race away on the break and former RB Leipzig player Ademola Lookman spanks a sweet shot into the top corner to complete his hat-trick.




Yellow card


Yellow card


Double swap

Xabi Alonso throws Adam Hložek and Robert Andrich into the mix as Leverkusen look to chase this game down.

Tapsoba booked

Lookman looks to break free down the left but is hauled back by Tapsoba. That's a yellow for the Bayer player.

Yellow card


Plenty of time

We haven't really even entered 'Leverkusen time' yet, with the Bundesliga side famed for scoring a plethora of late, late goals this season. The only worry for Xabi Alonso's men is that they haven't looked particularly incisive in attack so far tonight.

Wirtz menacing

Lovely play from Wirtz, who dinks an angled pass in for Grimaldo. Musso races out to claim but he makes contact with the Spaniard and goes down injured. This should take some time.

Zappacosta warned

Zappacosta is booked for a crunching tackle on Adli.

Yellow card


B04 attack again

Boniface is making his presence felt up front as Leverkusen continue to attack. Adli's cross is palmed out by Musso with Frimpong arriving to send the loose ball over the bar.



Scamacca on thin ice?

Scamacca lands one on Hincapié, who goes down holding his throat. A free kick is all that results. The Italian forward has already been booked, remember.

Leverkusen's moment

Tapsoba and Frimpong combine well in what might be Leverkusen's best attacking spell of this game as they push towards the goal behind which sit the majority of their fans.

Atalanta on the attack

Koopmeiners plays a very dangerous, angled ball into the heart of the Leverkusen area. Palacios makes a crucial intervention to concede the corner, which comes to nothing.


Josip Stanišić makes way for Victor Boniface for Bayer04 at the start of the second half. Meanwhile, Sead Kolašinac leaves the pitch injured prior to kick off, Giorgio Scalvini is on.



Second half underway

Bayer04 get the second half underway ...

Comeback kings

Leverkusen have never given up in any game this season and you can be certain they'll be putting up a huge fight after the break here. What better time to take a look back at some of the Werkself's most spine-tingling moments this season.

Half-time: Atalanta 2-0 Bayer04

Xabi Alonso has work to do at the break with his Leverkusen side facing a first defeat in all competitions this season here in Dublin. An Ademola Lookman double has Atalanta well in control of this final.

Xhaka goes close

The Swiss midfielder sends a whipping shot not all that far wide. Musso may have had that covered.

Time added on

We'll have two minutes tacked onto the end of this first half.

Chances at both ends

Zappacosta sends a menacing shot along the ground which Kovář gets down to save. At the other end, Musso gathers Adli's whipped centre.

Inspiration needed

It's been a frustrating evening for Leverkusen thus far but if any team is capable of fighting back here, it's the Bundesliga team, who have been in similar positions domestically and especially in Europe this season.

Almost Wirtz

Bayer04's No.10 is this close to controlling Xhaka's flighted pass inside the area. Had Wirtz taken that down, the arrears would almost definitely have been reduced.

Double booking

Scamacca is booked for a heavy challenge on Adli. Wirtz expresses his disgust to the referee. Both players are booked.

Yellow card


Yellow card


Grimaldo chance

Suddenly, a break for Leverkusen. Grimaldo is in on the left and Musso has left his goal to try and close the Spaniard down. Grimaldo looks to lift the ball over the advancing keeper but can only send the ball straight into his arms.

Kovář calls for calm

Scamacca rolls a shot straight at Kovář, which gives the Bundesliga side a chance to inhale deeply and reset.

Tactical change needed?

Leverkusen have not been up to it here at all and this final is in danger of getting away from them with Atalanta continuing to push forward. Xabi Alonso is in deep conversation with his assistant at the moment.

Lookman again

Sloppy play from Leverkusen allows Atalanta in, but the pressure from B04's opponents has been immense. Lookman pounces on the ball before driving forward and bending a superb shot around Kovář from distance. That's a top finish.




Djimsiti booked

Atalanta captain Berat Djimsiti is booked for a trip on Palacios.

Yellow card


Scamacca chance

The striker gets under the ball and so sends his shot high over the crossbar. These are slightly worrying times for Bayer04, whose tactics have been hampered by a very well drilled Atalanta side thus far.

B04 look to bounce back

Xabi Alonso's men are being smothered here but the Bundesliga champions manage to break out and Josip Stanišić sends a snapshot into the arms of Musso.

Atalanta hit the front

Leverkusen have been having trouble dealing with Atalanta's forward movement and the Italians' latest attack brings its reward. Zappacosta's ball across the face catches Palacios napping and Lookman nips in to fire high past Kovář.




Scamacca off target

A loose pass from Xhaka eventually sees the ball end up at Lookman's feet. The forward spreads a pass wide for Ruggeri, whose cross is turned behind by Scamacca.

Musso alert

Juan Musso comes off his line to get two fists on a high ball into his area that was heading for Wirtz.

Open encounter

Both sides begin on an attacking foot, which is refreshing to see in a European final. Wirtz is menacing for Leverkusen while Scamacca clearly wants to be involved early on for the Italian side.


The UEFA Europa League final is underway in Dublin!

Anthem time

Grey evening skies above but the stadium is awash with colour as the teams first line up for the tournament anthem and then get the handshakes started.

Teams in tunnel

Both sides are all set to make their way out onto the pitch at the AVIVA Stadium in Dublin. Here. We. Go.

Pre-match show

UEFA's pre-final show is underway, meaning we are closer than ever to the on-field action getting started!

Wirtz all set

How important a role will the newly-crowned Bundesliga Player of the Season for 2023/24, Florian Wirtz, have to play in Dublin? We're about to find out. Leverkusen's No.10 boasts four goals and four assists in 10 Europa League appearances this season.

Bayer04 opt for speed

Xabi Alonso opts for a change of system (3-4-3) to the weekend win against Augsburg, meaning that although Xhaka and Wirtz return here, Victor Boniface is on the bench along with fellow forward Patrik Schick. The Spanish tactician will look to the speed of full-backs Álex Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong, along with Amine Adli in attack, to pose Bayer's final opponents plenty of threat. Cup goalkeeper Matěj Kovář takes over from Lukáš Hrádecký between the posts.

Scamacca threat

Atalanta welcome Sead Kolašinac back into defence while goalkeeper Juan Musso - a regular in the Europa League this season - is in for Marco Carnesecchi. Forward Gianluca Scamacca - a scorer of six goals in the tournament this term - leads the Italians' attack.

Leverkusen starting XI

Kovář - Stanišić, Tah (c), Tapsoba - Frimpong, Xhaka, Palacios, Hincapié - Wirtz, Adli, Grimaldo

Leverkusen subs

Hrádecký, Lomb, Kossounou, Hofmann, Andrich, Borja Iglesias, Arthur, Schick, Tella, Boniface, Hložek, Puerta

Atalanta starting XI

Musso - Djimsiti (c), Hien, Kolašinac - Zappacosta, Éderson, Koopmeiners, Ruggeri - De Ketelaere, Scamacca, Lookman

Atalanta subs

Carnesecchi, Rossi, Tóloi, Holm, Pašalić, Toure, De Roon, Bakker, Adopo, Hateboer, Scalvini, Miranchuk

Atmosphere building!

Bayer Leverkusen fans are heading to the AVIVA Stadium as kick-off approaches! The travelling German contingent are an estimated 12,000 strong.

Record to improve upon

Despite beating AS Roma in the first leg of this season's semi-final, Leverkusen's record in general against Italian teams is not terrific. Of 27 previous meetings against Italian outfits, Bayer04have won just six. Xabi Alonso's men will obviously be desperate to make that seven in the Irish capital shortly.

Previous meeting

Florian Wirtz featured for Leverkusen in the last, and only, meeting between these sides in European competition. On that occasion, Atalanta triumphed 4-2 in a two-legged, Europa League Round of 16 tie in 2021/22.

Man in the middle

Tonight's referee will be István Kovács, the Romanian official who is participating in his third consecutive European final. Kovács refereed the inaugural Conference League final in 2022 and was fourth official during last season's Champions League showpiece in Istanbul.

Form guide

Both of these sides are in solid form going into this evening's encounter. Bayer04 are, of course, unbeaten in all competitions this term and have won four of their last five games while scoring 16 goals in the process. Atalanta recently lost the Italian Cup final to Juventus but otherwise, they have won seven of their last nine games in all competitions.

Watch: The animated story of Xabi Alonso

A stunning tribute to the life and career of a footballing legend.


Both Leverkusen and their Italian opposition trained at the Aviva Stadium yesterday, while also completing some media duties. Typically, Alonso caught the eye...

Welcome to the Aviva Stadium

Here is the venue for tonight's final, the fantastic Aviva Stadium in Dublin which has a capacity to host 51,711 supporters. It is the national stadium for both Ireland's football team and rugby union side and it last hosted the Europa League final in 2011.

It's gameday!

A huge day for Leverkusen supporters as the unbeaten Bundesliga champions go in search of making more history. Kick-off in Dublin is at 8pm CEST and we'll have all the build-up right here before our live commentary gets underway later on.

Alonso on Atalanta

"At Atalanta, they do special things and when you watch Atalanta you learn things and from that we try to prepare. They know what they want and are successful in Italy and Europe, but we've had a lot of games in Germany against teams that play similarly. Tactics, intelligence and mentality will be required tomorrow."

Gasperini on Leverkusen

"Leverkusen are a complete team; extremely organised. They are versatile, they can defend and recover the ball well. The results they have achieved this season are not an accident. Certainly, small details can make the difference in a final. We have to respect them and try to adapt quickly to the opponents we are facing."

How they got here: Leverkusen

Leverkusen set the tone by topping Europa League Group H on maximum points. They trailed Qarabağ 2-0 in both last-16 fixtures, only to hit back in now trademark fashion and advance. Patrik Schick was the hero, scoring a 92nd-minute equaliser in Azerbaijan, before levelling and firing a winner even deeper into stoppage time at the BayArena. First-leg wins in the ensuing rounds put them on course, though West Ham United and Roma each threatened to at least end Leverkusen's proud unbeaten run in the return ties. Down 1-0 on the night in London and 2-0 at home to Roma, more late goals snatched positive results from the jaws of defeat to preserve the streak and send the Bundesliga champions to Dublin.

How they got here: Atalanta

Atalanta took 14 points from a possible 18 to top Europa League Group D ahead of Sporting Lisbon. They then beat the Portuguese club 3-1 on aggregate in the last 16, before knocking out Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool, thanks in no small part to a 3-0 win at Anfield (3-1 on agg.). Gian Piero Gasperini's team were held to a 1-1 draw in their semi-final first leg with Marseille, before hitting three without reply on home soil to reach their first UEFA competition final.


Part two of Bayer Leverkusen's treble hunt takes them to Dublin, where Atalanta await in the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League final. Follow all the match build-up, live action and reaction right here!