West Ham beat Fiorentina 2-1 in the Conference League final

West Ham beat Fiorentina 2-1 in the Conference League final

West Ham defeated Fiorentina 2:1 in the Conference League final

European Conference League Football Final: ACF Fiorentina – West Ham United, June 7, 2023, Prague. West Ham players celebrate the victory, Tomáš Souček is in the middle.

Prague – West Ham footballers with Czech representatives Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal won the European Conference League. In the final in Prague's Eden, they beat Fiorentina 2:1 with Jarrod Bowen's goal from the 90th minute and won the second major European trophy in the club's history. Saíd Benrahma opened the scoring in the 62nd minute from a penalty, five minutes later “Violet” midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura equalized. Souček and Coufal played the entire match, midfielder Antonín Barák started for the defeated team only in the setup.

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West Ham beat Fiorentina 2:1 in the Conference League final

West Ham beat Fiorentina 2:1 in the Conference League final

West Ham defeated Fiorentina 2:1 in the Conference League final

< p>West Ham beat Fiorentina 2:1 in the Conference League final

West Ham turned their third appearance in the final of a major European cup and their first since 1976 into a second triumph, following on from their 1964/65 Cup Winners' Cup win. In the fifth European final, Fiorentina lost for the fourth time, succeeding only in the 1960/61 Cup Winners' Cup. With today's victory, the “Hammers” secured participation in the next season of the European League.

“It's a fantastic feeling. I've had a long career in football and there aren't many moments like this. You have to work hard for these moments. Tonight was amazing,” UEFA quoted London coach David Moyes as the first Scottish coach since 2008 and the triumph of Alex Ferguson in the Champions League, he won the European Cup with his team.

While Souček and, somewhat surprisingly, Coufal were not missing from West Ham's starting line-up, Barák, who did not play in the last Serie A match due to temperature, as expected started on the bench. Thus, the vast majority of the finals did not involve a direct fight between the Czech representatives and former Slavists on the lawn in Eden.

In the match between the eighth team in the Italian league and the fourteenth overall Premier League, combative but cautious football was played from the start. West Ham was the first to threaten more significantly, but captain Rice headed just wide of the post in the 13th minute. Otherwise, Fiorentina had territorial superiority in the opening act, but they did not get many chances. In the 26th minute Milenkovič headed over from a corner.

Both clubs had approximately five thousand supporters in the audience, who provided a good backdrop. However, the West Ham fans threw cups at the opponent's players from the start, and with one of them in the 33rd minute they caused a bloody injury to Biraghim's head. The captain of Fiorentina had to be treated for several minutes, then continued in the match.

At the end of the four-minute setting of the first half, the Italian team had the best chance so far. After a cross from the right side, Kouamé headed into the post and the onrushing Jovic pushed the ball over the goalie over the line, but he was offside.

Fiorentina entered the second half more actively, but last year's semi-finalists of the Europa League opened the scoring. Bowen handled the ball on his chest in the penalty area, defender Biraghi played with his hand and referee Del Cerro Grande awarded a penalty after the intervention of the video referee and review of the situation from the video. Benrahma did not hesitate, sent the goalkeeper to the opposite side and gave West Ham the lead in the 62nd minute.

But the “Hammers” only lasted five minutes. González headed the ball to Bonaventura and his low shot hit the far post. A moment later, on the opposite side, Terracciano caught the escape of Antonio, who was still offside.

Almost immediately he was able to turn the tide of Madragora, his technical attempt was inches away. After that, Souček made himself known twice, who ran the longest distance in the final, covering 12.32 kilometers. In the 80th minute, first after his shot and Terracciano's save, the referee blew the whistle for the previous offensive foul, then the captain of the Czech national team headed from a long distance and the goalkeeper kicked the ball into the corner.

When it looked like the match was slowly heading to overtime, Paquetá sent Bowen with a vertical header that beat Terracciano. Fiorentina was unable to equalize, and the arrival of substitute Barák in the third minute of regulation did not help them either.

“You do a sprint like that ten times and maybe one time it will fall for you. I dreamed of scoring a goal in the final. But to score the winning goal at the last minute… I thought I was going to cry,” Bowen said.

The “Violets” did not make it to the second final shortly after, at the end of May they also suffered a 1:2 defeat in the Italian Cup against Inter Milan. “We've lost two finals that we've played well. It's a shame. I honestly couldn't have imagined today that it would end like this. We had chances, we equalized after a penalty that could have knocked us down. It's a terrible feeling to lose two finals, I wish to never experience this. The players are devastated,” Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano said at a press conference.

West Ham confirmed the position of sovereign of the second year of the Conference League – they did not lose in 15 matches of the competition and won fourteen times. After the final whistle, the “Hammers” could start the stormy celebrations of the first European trophy in 58 years. These were especially special for Soucek and Coufal, who played for Slavia in Eden before coming to West Ham.

The final of a major European Cup was played in the Czech Republic for the first time. In 2013, Eden hosted the Super Cup between Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League winners Chelsea.

ACF Fiorentina – West Ham United 1:2 (0:0)

Goals: 67. Bonaventura – 62. Benrahma of pen., 90. Bowen. Referee: Del Cerro Grande – Cebrián Devis, Porrasová Ayusová – Martínez Munuera (video, all Sp.). ŽK: Mandragora, Duncan, Milenkovič, Amrabat – Benrahma, Adžuird, Bowen. Spectators: 17,363.


Fiorentina: Terracciano – Dodo, Milenkovič, Ranieri (84. Igor), Biraghi – Amrabat, Mandragora (90.+3 Barák) – Bonaventura – González, Jovic (46. Cabral), Kouamé (62. Saponara). Coach: Italiano.

West Ham: Areola – Coufal, Zouma (61. Kehrer), Adžuird, Emerson – Souček, Rice – Paquetá – Bowen, Antonio (90.+4 Ogbonna), Benrahma (76. Fornals). Coach: Moyes.