Lookman’s hat trick is good news to Barca, and may hand Italy and Roma a sixth Champion League slot

Lookman’s hat trick is good news to Barca, and may hand Italy and Roma a sixth Champion League slot

Super Eagles Bayer forward Ademola Lookman's hat trick that led to the Leverkusen defeat in the Europa League final comes as good news for Barcelona.

As per Football Rankings on X, Leverkusen’s defeat means that Barcelona has a better chance of being in Pot 1 for next season’s league phase draw in the Champions League. Had the Bundesliga champions defeated Atalanta, they would have moved Los Blaugrana down to Pot 2.

However, Barcelona’s place in Pot 1 is not yet assured. If Atalanta finish 5th in La Liga, it would promote Roma to the Champions League, and the Italian giants have more co-efficient points than the Catalans, who would subsequently be bumped down to Pot 2.

Amid a season of turmoil, it is a brief positive for Barcelona to remain in Pot 1 for the time being. It remains to be seen whether they will stay there come the end of the season.

Also, Lookman’s heroism might open up a sixth Italian spot in the Champions League for Roma, but only if they finish in fifth place and no higher.

As they had already qualified for the Champions League via Serie A, then it makes no difference to their prospects for next season’s tournament.

However, it could let Roma enter the top-tier competition if certain conditions are met.

If Gian Piero Gasperini’s side are fourth or even third, then the sixth position will not open up and Roma cannot enter the Champions League.

This is because when UEFA set the stipulation for an extra spot opening up for the Europa League winners, Italy only had four automatic entries into the Champions League.

 A fifth was added for Italy’s exceptional performance in the UEFA rankings.

As things stand, Atalanta are fifth with 66 points, whereas Bologna and Juventus are on 68.

There is one round left to play in Serie A, but crucially Atalanta has a game in hand to be played against Fiorentina on June 2.

So until that match is completed, Roma must wait to discover their Champions League fate.