The English West Ham beat the Italian club Fiorentina (1-2) this Wednesday evening in Prague in the final of the Europa League Conference.
A few days before the grand final of the Champions League between Manchester City and Inter Milan, its smaller sister closed its edition this Wednesday evening with an enticing Europa League Conference final between the English club of West Ham and the club Italian Fiorentina, on the lawn of the Eden Arena stadium, in Prague in the Czech Republic. A finish that smelled like powder with a lot of tension around the enclosure with three injured in a fight between supportersa few hours before kick-off.
On the Hammers side, coach David Moyes has decided to start two french players with former Parisian Alphonse Areola in the cages and defender Kurt Zouma in the axial hinge. On the Viola side, the tactician Vincenzo Italiano did without the French winger Jonathan Ikoné, in favor of Christian Kouamé on the side.
In the first half, the two teams put a lot of intensity and aggressiveness into their exchanges, although the meeting struggled to settle. Fiorentina seemed slightly above with in particular 70% possession, eight shots attempted and a goal disallowed on the wire of Luka Jovic for a slight offside (90th + 4). West Ham were fast on the counterattack and scored the only shot of the half in the first minute, signed Michail Antonio. But the offensive performance of the English was far from being flamboyant, in real lack of consistency – unlike the Viola which relied on its wings to overflow with Nicolás González and Christian Kouamé.
Paqueta puts Bowen in orbit
In the second act, as the pace began to drop, West Ham came to sound their opponent by causing and converting a penalty in the wake of Saïd Benrahma, after a handball from Cristiano Biraghi (62nd). But the Viola was quick to react thanks to Giacomo Bonaventura who volleyed Nicolas Gonzalez’s serve with a header (67′). After an exchange of chances in the last half hour, Jarrod Bowen scored the winning goal in the dying moments, served deep by Lucas Paqueta (90th).
With this result, West Ham won their first European competition since the final won (2-0) against TSV 1860 Munich with a brace from Alan Sealey, in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. Like their compatriots of AS Roma in the Europa League, Fiorentina players end the competition as sad losing finalists.