West Ham United etched some more European history on Wednesday after a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final. The result meant West Ham lifted their first major trophy in 43 years. And Captain Declan Rice could bow out a hero if he left the club this summer.
This match got off to a cagey start in Prague as both sides hoped to make up for decades without lifting a title. Very Little occurred in the opening half, leading fans to take center stage when empty beer cups were thrown on the pitch and injured Fiorentina’s Cristiano Biraghi. The captain’s head was cracked open and heavily bleeding. But he remained fit to play the match.
And to make things worse for Fiorentina, they thought they had the opener when Luka Jović forced the ball over the line past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. But it was ruled out due to offside. Manager Vincenzo Italiano later gambled by taking the Serbian striker off for Arthur Cabral. It’s another poor performance for Jović. He missed a handful of chances in the Coppa Italia final loss to Inter.
Without the injured Gianluca Scamacca and Michail Antonio completing zero passes during the opening 30 minutes, David Moyes’ side also needed to step up. A second VAR intervention then led to the breakthrough. Jarrod Bowen’s movement in the box saw Biraghi commit a handball. After a penalty was initially dismissed, Saïd Benrahma was allowed to step up and smashed home for 1-0 in the 62nd minute.
The lead didn’t last for long. La Viola struck back in the blink of an eye seeing the match burst into life with roughly 20 minutes to go. Some brilliant close-control skills from Giacomo Bonaventura caught West Ham sleeping and he equalized in the 67th minute to keep things interesting.
True chances for a late winner were few and far between as extra time lingered. That was until Bowen came out as the game-changer again. The Englishman found himself through on a breakaway, looked up briefly, and slotted home the winner in the 90th minute. It was his fifth goal of the competition and 13th overall this season to go alongside his nine assists. Fiorentina’s wait for glory, meanwhile, continues after falling short in two finals in the same season.
Fans get emotional as West Ham lifts a major trophy after 43 years
West Ham United won this year’s Uefa Europa Conference League trophy as they defeated Italian side Fiorentina in a scoreline of 2-1. After the last-minute heroics of Jarred Bowen, Hammers finally ended their far too long await and lifted a major European Trophy after more than four decades.
West Ham fans all over the world got emotional after seeing their team lift the Conference League trophy. Many fans took to Social media to express their happiness with the match’s result. One fan wrote, “As an honest football fan I can admit West Ham are bigger than Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal”. While another fan wrote, “They have had a better season than man utd”. And a third fan wrote, “Football. Won. Today.”.
The next season is going to be very crucial for the Hammers as the fans would expect them to build on this success and go up the European ladder. Will they be able to make it a regular fixture is going to be interesting to follow.
Supratim Banerjee is a football content writer at FirstSportz, currently pursuing B.COM from University of Calcutta.
Supratim has been following the sport since 2010. He is a huge Barcelona and Argentina fan. He follows other like Cricket, WWE as well.
Apart from sports writing, Supratim is very much into travelling, as he likes wandering to new places and knowing new people and their untold stories.
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