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Leverkusen’s Alonso ‘Proud’ Despite ‘Painful’ Defeat



Leverkusen’s Alonso ‘Proud’ Despite ‘Painful’ Defeat

Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso reflected on his team’s “exceptional” record-breaking unbeaten run, acknowledging the pain of their 3-0 defeat to Atalanta in the Europa League final. Despite a remarkable season that saw Leverkusen go 51 games without a loss and win the Bundesliga, their aspirations for European glory were crushed by a dominant Atalanta side at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

Alonso, a former Liverpool midfielder, praised his team’s achievements over the past year but admitted that losing in such a significant match was difficult to accept. “Atalanta were better than us and they deserve the trophy,” Alonso conceded. “It wasn’t our day. We’ve had a bad night. It hurts that it happened in such an important match.”

He added, “The normality is not to suffer a first defeat in the 52nd game. It’s exceptional what we achieved and we should be proud. But it’s painful.”

Leverkusen’s remarkable run, maintained through numerous last-minute heroics, came to an end against an Atalanta team in control from the start. Ademola Lookman was the star of the match, scoring a hat-trick to secure Atalanta’s first trophy in 61 years and halt Leverkusen’s hopes of an unbeaten season and a treble.

Alonso highlighted the challenges his team faced during the final: “We weren’t able to play as we wished. After the first goal, they showed a great deal of energy and we couldn’t find solutions to counteract that. We couldn’t impose ourselves or fashion goalscoring opportunities.”

Looking ahead, Alonso emphasized the importance of refocusing on the German Cup final against second-tier Kaiserslautern on Saturday, aiming to complete a domestic double. “To achieve what we have for a club like Leverkusen is great,” Alonso told TNT Sports. “To be in the last week of the season having lifted the Bundesliga and playing the Europa League final, we couldn’t make it, but then going for the Pokal [German Cup] too means a lot.”

Despite the setback, Alonso remains proud of his team’s accomplishments and is determined to end the season on a high note with a victory in the German Cup final.

Source: ghmediahub