Bayer Leverkusen players reflect on their Europa League final loss to Atalanta

After their 3-0 loss to Atalanta in the Europa League final, Bayer Leverkusen’s players have reacted to their humbling defeat.

Unused substitute Jonas Hofmann offered a view to the loss as he sat on the sidelines the whole game (via kicker): “Many errors, many individual errors, many misplaced passes, simple technical errors. Not Bayer-like, (Atalanta had the feeling) that they can stand against us and win the title. We had little to oppose this.” Club captain Lukas Hradecky, who also sat on the bench added: “I have seen very little of our offensive DNA.”

Speaking to the club website, Granit Xhaka said: “Today we didn’t do what Atalanta asked of us. Disappointment is part of it, and that’s OK today. Maybe tomorrow. But then we have to go into the final against Kaiserslautern motivated. We want to win in Berlin!”

Jeremie Frimpong also said: “We are extremely disappointed. We lost a final. Atalanta was the better team, they deserved to win. We didn’t create enough chances and Atalanta just made them.” The right-wing back added: “The fact that we are playing a final again on Saturday is football, it is part of the game. We definitely want to win it!”

The loss to Atalanta ended Leverkusen’s unbeaten streak in all competitions at 51 games. However, in this game they went out poorly having struggled from the off to deal with Atalanta’s press. Die Werkself’s defence also could not deal with former RB Leipzig winger Ademola Lookman who ran them ragged the whole evening and scored a hat-trick. 

Leverkusen have the chance to make up for this loss on Saturday when they travel to Berlin to face Kaiserslautern in the DFB Pokal and have the chance to complete a double. 

The positive Leverkusen can take from this loss is now they know what it feels like to lose on the big stage. They are unlikely to go unbeaten in the league again next season but with them playing in the Champions League, this lose should help them go far.

GGFN | Jack Meenan 


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