Conference League: Bayern flirt Declan Rice triumphs with West Ham United

Fan scandals overshadow the finale
Bayern flirt Rice triumphs with West Ham

First ugly scenes, then the big jubilation: West Ham United wins the Conference League and ends its 43-year period of suffering. The Hammers defeat AC Fiorentina and win their first title since the 1980 FA Cup. However, the game was overshadowed by fan anger.

58 years after the coup against the Munich Lions, West Ham United have won an international title again. The London club around Bayern player Declan Rice and the German national defender Thilo Kehrer won the second edition of the Conference League with a 2-1 (0-0) win over the Italian club AC Florenz. West Ham thus secured a starting place for the upcoming Europa League after a disappointing season with fears of relegation.

Said Benrahma with a hand penalty (62′) and Jarrod Bowen (90′) scored the goals for the Hammers, who – led by eventual world champions Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst – had won the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup by beating 1860 Munich 2-0 . Giacomo Bonaventura’s equalizer (67th) wasn’t enough for Florence. As a result, the Serie A club also lost its second final this season, Inter Milan won 2-1 in the cup final.

Fans attack downtown bar

The duel was overshadowed by fan riots. Florence supporters attacked Londoners in a city-centre bar, Czech police said. Three people were slightly injured, one of whom was taken to the hospital. In addition, 16 suspects were provisionally arrested.

Badly drawn: Cristiano Biraghi.

(Photo: REUTERS)

There were also unpleasant scenes in the stadium. AC captain Cristiano Biraghi was thrown at with several drinking cups when he tried to take a corner. The Italian then bled heavily from the back of his head, but was able to continue the game with a turban. Rice, who was making an unremarkable play in the Hammers’ midfield, turned and asked fans to be calm. Biraghi was then involuntarily the center of attention for the first goal conceded. Because he touched the ball with his hand in a duel with Bowen, referee Carlos del Cerro Grande decided on a penalty after studying the video. Benrahma threw the ball into the goal.

Bowen scores in the last minute

Florence quickly recovered from the shock and scored a remarkable equalizer through Bonaventura. At the time, Kehrer was already in the game, the former Schalke player came on after just over an hour. The decision then came in the last minute when Bowen scored the winning goal after a long sprint. “We are extremely happy. Winning a European title with West Ham is outstanding,” said Kehrer, at Nitro: “The game went back and forth, it was pretty even. In the end we got it as a unit.”

The final of the Europa Conference League took place under strong security measures. Police helicopters have been circling over the metropolis on the Moldau since the afternoon. Hundreds of officers were deployed, including mounted police officers. Two public viewing zones were set up for fans who couldn’t get tickets for the game in the Eden Arena with around 18,000 seats – one for each of the two clubs.

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