Atalanta end Xabi Alonso’s pursuit of invincible treble season

Atalanta knocked Liverpool out of Europe and have now ended Xabi Alonso’s pursuit of an unprecedented invincible season in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

The Reds were tactically inferior to the Italian side in their quarter-final tie, one of the few teams to outplay Jurgen Klopp‘s side to such an extent.

And the treatment Atalanta dished out on Merseyside was again served up, this time in Dublin in the Europa League final against Bayer Leverkusen.

A hat-trick from ex-Everton man Ademola Lookman secured a 3-0 win for the Italians and subjected Alonso’s side to their first defeat of the season, in what was their 52nd game of the campaign.

It was another impressive performance from Gian Piero Gasperini’s men, who nullified Leverkusen from the first whistle to the last to secure only their second major trophy in 117 years.

In the space of six weeks, Atalanta knocked out Liverpool, were the first team to defeat Leverkusen and lifted a trophy – mightily impressive and tonic for those still with wounds over the Reds’ exit.

The result means Alonso’s unbeaten streak ends after 51 games, still an incredible achievement – though they can still win a German cup double.

Leverkusen have already lifted the Bundesliga title and now have one game remaining this season, the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday against second-tier side FC Kaiserslautern.

Two trophies and only one defeat all season, few would say no to that!

Alonso remained classy in defeat, saying to TNT Sports: “It was not meant to be, the unbeaten run has come to an end, but congratulations to Atalanta. They deserve it, so nothing more to say.”

The result means Atalanta will play in the Champions League next season alongside Liverpool and Leverkusen, though perhaps neither are too eager to meet them again so soon!