West Ham United Win The Europa Conference League Through Late Jarrod Bowen Strike

Bowen's winner came in the 90th minute in Prague
22:20, 07 Jun 2023

West Ham United are the Europa Conference League champions. The Hammers defeated Fiorentina 2-1 on Wednesday night in Prague to secure their second major European title on record. The hero of the hour, Jarrod Bowen has just written himself into West Ham folklore as his 90th-minute winner has delivered the east London club one of the greatest moments in their storied history.

Like the legends of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters of the 1965 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup winning side, Bowen, Declan Rice and co now stand side by side with these heroes in West Ham legend. For Rice himself, he'll be elated at being able to captain West Ham to their second major European title and should this be his final appearance in claret and blue, his legacy is set.

Equally, David Moyes’ celebration at Bowen’s goal was just so good to see. It was the biggest night of his managerial career and here he stands now as a Europa Conference League winning manager - his first major trophy. After his torrid time at Manchester United all those years ago and the pressure he’s experienced as Hammers boss this year due to their Premier League campaign, what a moment for the Scotsman. 


Forgetting their league performance, this historic European triumph has made 2022-23 one of West Ham’s best ever seasons on record and he has delivered that for them. It is the club’s first major title since 1980 so the fans have had to wait a long time for another moment like this. This victory is huge for them too as they will be competing in the Europa League next term which helps with their pulling power in the summer transfer market.


It took the Hammers much of the first half to settle into the game. Their ball retention was poor and Fiorentina were smothering them. And with the way that the Italian side liked to play, it made West Ham’s pressing that much more taxing. But for all their positive play, it wasn’t until the end of the half for Fiorentina to generate a threatening chance.

Christian Kouame was picked out at the back post with a delightful cross and his header bounced off the post. Luka Jovic managed to get the ball over the line with the rebound but he was denied for offside.

Fiorentina continued to impose themselves in the second half with possession but the game took a huge twist just after the hour mark. After a VAR check, Biraghi was penalised for handball after the replay showed he pushed the ball away from Jarrod Bowen. Said Benrahma smashed the penalty home to send the West Ham supporters wild.

Those celebrations were short-lived, however, as Fiorentina responded with a swift equaliser. Veteran midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura, who had been exceptional throughout the game, finished off an exquisite move with a sweet finish into the bottom corner after taking a brilliant touch to knock the ball down to strike from the right side of the box.

West Ham’s opener certainly sparked the game into life and all of a sudden there were promising breaks at either end. In the dying minutes, both teams were looking for a hero. Bowen stepped up for the Hammers to win it at the death and spark some incredible scenes of joy. 

The evening was somewhat spoiled during the first half when some thugs threw cups at Fiorentina players when they came up for a corner. La Viola captain Cristiano Biraghi was struck on the back of the head, causing the defender to bleed as West Ham players implored the fans to behave themselves. 

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