Atalanta thrash Marseille Clinical Atalanta thrash Marseille 3-0 to reach Europa League final
Friday, 10 May 2024 04:00 am


Atalanta's Ademola Lookman, Matteo Ruggeri and El Bilal Toure all got on the scoresheet to send the Italians to their first Europa League final with a 3-0 win over Olympique de Marseille for a 4-1 aggregate victory on Thursday.

The Italians will meet Bayer Leverkusen, who overcame AS Roma, in their first European final in Dublin on May 22. Lookman put Atalanta ahead in the semi-final second leg on the half-hour with a long-range strike past Pao Lopez before setting up Ruggeri to net seven minutes after the break.

Atalanta's repeated attacks, with Gianluca Scamacca and Davide Zappacosta threatening, overwhelmed the visitors, who had few chances, and substitute Toure put the nail in Marseille's coffin with their third four minutes into added time. "My first goal in Bergamo is a very big emotion," Ruggeri told SkySports Italia. "Now we can dream with our eyes open that we're in the final. It's a moment to celebrate with our people."

Atalanta are aiming for a trophy double as they also face Juventus in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday, with their 1963 Coppa Italia triumph being their only major silverware.

Regarding the Europa League, coach Gian Piero Gasperini told a press conference: "It will be a historic occasion for a team like ours who don't have the numbers (of fans) to win. It's really incredible but it bodes well for everyone.

"Numbers seem to be important, it seems that you have to have Super Leagues, but the example of Atalanta can give hope. Football is beautiful because of meritocracy, not because of acquired rights," he added.

Atalanta are fifth in Serie A and also have their sights set on a Champions League qualifying spot via the domestic league. They face a showdown at home to sixth-placed Roma on Sunday.