Berliner Tageblatt - 'We can't let this break us', says Leverkusen's Tah

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'We can't let this break us', says Leverkusen's Tah
'We can't let this break us', says Leverkusen's Tah / Photo: © AFP

'We can't let this break us', says Leverkusen's Tah

Bayer Leverkusen captain Jonathan Tah backed his team to get over their disappointment at losing the Europa League final to Atalanta on Wednesday ahead of Saturday's German Cup final.

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Atalanta's 3-0 win in Dublin, thanks to a hat-trick from Ademola Lookman broke the Bundesliga champions' season-long unbeaten run after 51 games, while derailing their hopes of a treble.

Leverkusen, who clinched the league title in April, can win the domestic double for the first time when they face second-division Kaiserslautern in Saturday's German Cup final.

Handed the captain's armband with regular skipper Lukas Hradecky on the bench, Tah told RTL+ "we can't let this break us".

"Hugely disappointed of course. When you come so far, you of course want a different result.

"Nevertheless, we need to keep going, we've got a big game ahead of us. Even if we're hurting, we've got to allow it to hurt a bit."

"It really hurts and we're very disappointed, but football is like that and we need to learn from it."

Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso said the feeling of losing was "new for us" this season, but said his team needed to put the pain of the loss to good use.

"Of course we need to congratulate Atalanta. They were intense. They were better. They deserve it," he said.

"The whole team gave everything but today was not our day. We need to accept it. Now we've got the chance to get rid of this pain.

"We need to use this pain in the right way for our next final on Saturday. Today we couldn't get it done."

Disappointed Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka also set his sights on German Cup redemption.

"It's not about the unbeaten run, that didn't matter at all, it's about this final," he said.

"It’s bitter, definitely, we lost a final today but we go on and we’ll make up for it on Saturday."

K.Thomson--BTB