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Fiorentina 1-2 West Ham: Jarrod Bowen scores 90th-winner on historic night in Prague



Fortune, hiding no more. Not for West Ham as Jarrod Bowen ended their 43 year wait for a major trophy with a goal in the 90th minute of a tense and often infuriating cup final against Fiorentina.

It was as much a test of nerve and temperament as anything else for David Moyes’s side in Prague but they had passed both as the clock had ticked into the 90th minute, Lucas Paqueta released Bowen with a beautiful pass from midfield.

Bowen took one touch to gather it, scurrying forward into the penalty area and, with his second touch, squeezed it past the goalkeeper as he dashed from his line. The ball clipped the ‘keeper’s legs but bounced into the net.

It was the second time they had led. Said Benrahma put them ahead from with a penalty in the 62nd minute but they held the lead for only five minutes.

This time they protected the lead through an anxious eight minutes of stoppage time to become Europa Conference League champions, their first trophy since the FA Cup in 1980, their first in Europe since 1965.

West Ham and captain Declan Rice have written themselves into the history books after winning their first European trophyin 58 years

The Hammers had a difficult time fending off Fiorentina but a greater clinical edge and strong game management handed them victory in Prague

The Hammers had a difficult time fending off Fiorentina but a greater clinical edge and strong game management handed them victory in Prague 

David Moyes was believed to be on his way out at in east London but the manager has delivered the club a historic trophy

David Moyes was believed to be on his way out at in east London but the manager has delivered the club a historic trophy

It was a first for boss Moyes and the perfect way to go out for captain Declan Rice but the night belonged to Bowen, the hero. He won the penalty for the first and scored the second and this night will live long in the memory for thousands West Ham fans who poured into the Czech capital from all directions.


By midday they were already massing in the city’s Old Town square, blowing bubbles and booting plastic footballs into the air. Less than 5,000, however, had tickets to get into the Fortuna Arena.

It may have been a poor venue selection by UEFA with a capacity of only 19,370 – and there were empty seats in the Fiorentina end – but the home of Slavia Prague produced a raucous atmosphere for this showpiece.

West Ham started with two former Slavia players, with Tomas Soucek in his usual midfield berth and Vladimir Coufal at right back, one of two changes from the second leg of the semi-final against AZ Alkmaar. The other was Emerson in at left-back.

Moyes will have been well aware of the attacking threat posed by Biraghi, an attacking left-back with expert delivery from wide areas. Coufal and Jarrod Bowen were charged with keeping him quiet.

Although Biraghi’s first contribution was an outrageous over-reaction to a challenge by Bowen, who won the ball. Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano had openly admitted his team would deploy cynical tactics, pressing high and making smart fouls to stop the counterattack.

The contest, however, was littered with dark arts of another variety, with the Italians winding up their opponents with the full repertoire of pathetic play-acting, rolling around and feigning injuries.

Michail Antonio, with his committed and muscular style, found himself at the centre of much of this infuriating behaviour. Fiorentina’s big centre-halves would collapse, clutching their faces at the slightest contact.


It cannot have been easy for Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande but he did not handle any of this well, allowing it rumble on while failing to protect Antonio as he tried to stay on his feet. Moyes, exasperated, applauded sarcastically hands above head when his centre-forward won a free-kick, hauled down on the turn on halfway.

Benrahma joined the diving extravaganza and was shown a yellow card, which was at least the right decision among many poor ones. Patience was tested and tempers frayed in the stands. Some West Ham supporters became enraged and started throwing plastic pint pots down onto the pitch.

Fiorentina striker Nico Gonazalez, having won a corner, caught one and pretended to take a swig from it. Seconds later, the mood turned when another missile flew down and struck Biraghi on the back of his head.

Blood ran down his neck and he required treatment before he continued with a purple bandage wrapped around his head. The flying cups ceased but it all made for an awful, disjoined spectacle, devoid of fluent football in the first half.

Antonio drew a routine save in the first minute and Rice flashed an effort wide when a long throw by Coufal spilled his way on the edge of the penalty box. Fiorentina created little either, until the fourth minute of added time at the end of the first half when they had a goal ruled out for offside.

Christian Kouame climbed above Coufal to head a cross by Gonzalez against the post and Luka Jovic was first to the rebound, nodding it over the line as he took a boot in the face from Soucek. The flag went up, backed by VAR but Italiano complained about Soucek’s high boot as the teams funnelled into the tunnel at half-time.

Jovic did not return for the second half. Arthur Cabral replaced him although the nature of the game did not change until Benrahma’s penalty jolted it into life. It was given for a handball against Biraghi and there were similarities to the one awarded against Jack Grealish in the FA Cup final.


As Bowen controlled a pass on his chest, Biraghi tried to get his body across the front of him and inadvertently pushed the ball with his right hand. It was in no way deliberate but that is only half the argument these days.

Cerro Grande checked on the monitor, pointed to the spot and Benrahma held his nerve from the spot to send goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano the wrong way. West Ham erupted in celebration but the Italians hit back quickly.

Gonzalez headed a high ball down into the penalty area and Bonaventura produced a high quality finish on the move. One touch to gather and a second to arrow a low shot into the far corner from an angle.

Suddenly the final was uncorked with chances at both ends but Bowen made his count. West Ham are cup winners again and heading into the Europa League next season.

Jarrod Bowen's 90th-minute strike sealed the side's fortunes after much of the match was spent out of possession

Jarrod Bowen’s 90th-minute strike sealed the side’s fortunes after much of the match was spent out of possession


Fiorentina (4-3-3): Terracciano (GK), Dodo, Milenkovic, Ranieri (Julio 84′), Biraghi, Bonaventura, Amrabat, Mandragora, Gonzalez, Jovic (Cabral 45′), Kouama (Saponara 62′)

Substitutes not used: Cerofolini, Martinez Quarta, Julio, Terzic, Venuti, Ikone, Barak, Duncan, Bianco, Brekalo

Goals: Bonaventura


Booked: Mandragora, Milenkovic, Amrabat

Manager: Vincenzo Italiano 

West Ham (4-3-3): Areola (GK), Coufal, Zouma (Kehrer 61′), Aguerd, Palmieri, Soucek, Rice, Paqueta, Bowen, Benrahma (Fornals 76′)

Substitutes not used: Fabianski, Ogbonna, Johnson, Cresswell, Downes, Lanzini, Potts, Ings, Mubama, Cornet

Goals: Benrahma, Bowen

Booked: Benrahma, Aguerd

Manager: David Moyes


Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grander 

Source: Daily Mail

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