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Clinical Atalanta defeated Marseille 3-0 to reach the final of the Europa League

Atalanta players celebrate after the REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo match

Atalanta players celebrate after the REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo match

(Reuters) – Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman, Matteo Ruggeri and El Bilal Toure were all on the scoresheet as they sent the Italians to their first Europa League final with a 3-0 win over Olympique de Marseille and a 4-1 aggregate victory on Thursday .

The Italians will meet Bayer Leverkusen, who defeated AS Roma, in their first European final on May 22 in Dublin.

Lookman put Atalanta ahead in the second leg of the semi-final on the half-hour with a long-range strike past Pao Lopez before setting up Ruggeri to score seven minutes after half-time.

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 open eyes that we are in the final. It is a moment to celebrate this with our people.”

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

About the Europa League, coach Gian Piero Gasperini said at a press conference: “It will be a historic event for a team like ours, which does not have the number of fans to win. It’s really unbelievable, but it bodes well for everyone.

“Numbers seem important, it seems 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 have also set their sights on a Champions League qualification spot through the domestic competition. On Sunday they face a showdown at home against sixth-placed Roma.