- West Ham United wins the Conference League Final in Prague against Fiorentina 2-1.
- Jarrod Bowen scored the winning goal in the 90th minute.
- For the English it is the first European title since 1965.
Both sides seemed almost resigned to extra time. The goalkeepers kept the balls in their hands a little longer, the more offensively active Fiorentina decided to throw more cross passes around the West Ham penalty area.
So a somewhat unconventional ball-conquest by West Ham in midfield had to be used for the decision. Lucas Paqueta got the ball in a roundabout way and immediately played the laser pass into the depths. Jarrod Bowen stayed cold in front of the opponent’s goal and pushed in to make it 2-1. Regulation time was up 15 seconds later.
Fiorentina let the 5 minutes of added time pass unused, it was not enough for more than a few semi-dangerous long balls. Ex-Basel Arthur Cabral, who came on as a substitute in the second half, also remained pale on the offensive and thus shares the top scorer in the Conference League with FCB striker Zeki Amdouni (7 goals each).
West Ham, meanwhile, won their first European title since 1965. At that time, the “Hammers” with legend Bobby Moore won the Cup Winners’ Cup against 1860 Munich. The team is also only the 2nd winner of the Conference League after AS Roma last season.
Beer on the head, head on the ball
The first half was already intense, but football delicacies were in short supply. Two scenes caused a stir, several times the focus was on the head:
- 33 minutes: Cristiano Biraghi tries to kick a corner but is hit in the head by one of the numerous cups thrown by West Ham fans. As a result, the Fiorentina captain has a bleeding wound that has to be treated, but he can continue playing with a head bandage.
- 45 minutes: In the final seconds of the first half, Christian Kouame fails to hit the post with a (too) well-placed header, and Luka Jovic then sinks the rebound with his head as well. But the VAR transferred the Serbs to an offside position.
In the second round, both teams made progress in terms of results. Said Benrahma confidently converted a hands penalty (62′). The scapegoat was, of all people, Biraghi, who had already been maltreated. Just 5 minutes later, Giacomo Bonaventura brought Fiorentina back into play: After Nicolas Gonzalez won a header duel, the Italian scored a spectacular volley.
As a result, first Michail Antonio (West Ham) and then Rolando Mandragora missed from the best final positions, a goal didn’t want to be scored anymore. Until the 90th minute and Bowen’s degree in English luck.