Fiorentina 1-2 West Ham: Jarrod Bowen’s dramatic winner settles Europa Conference League final


West Ham ended their 43-year wait for a major trophy as Jarrod Bowen gave them a dramatic 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final.

A tense first-half came and went without much in the way of clear-cut chances, Luka Jovic’s disallowed finish just before the break as close as either side came to edging in front on the big stage in Prague.

In a European final for the first time in 47 years, West Ham edged in front as Said Benrahma held his nerve with a brilliant penalty with half an hour remaining, but it was lead they held for just a few minutes before Giacomo Bonaventura fired Fiorentina level again.

Extra-time looked inevitable as the 90 minutes ticked away, but there was still time for a goal that will be replayed for decades to come. Lucas Paqueta played the ball through, Jarrod Bowen made a perfect run and found the finish under pressure to spark wild scenes of celebration.

The first 45 minutes were most notable for the match being briefly paused after Cristiano Biraghi was hit by a number of plastic cups from the West Ham fans, with the Fiorentina cut as a result and Declan Rice among the Hammers players urging the supporters to stop. Jovic was denied by the offside flag in the closing stages of the opening period, with this the typical cagey final.

On the hour mark, Vladimir Coufal flung a long throw to Bowen in the box, he chested it down and the next touch came from the fist of Biraghi. After a VAR check the penalty was given, and Benrahma made no mistake from the spot with remarkable composure.

Bonaventura ensured that lead lasted just five minutes though, taking one touch with his left foot and a second with his right to find the far corner, and the match remained in the balance heading into the 90th minute.

That was until Paqueta produced the pass, Bowen the finish, and West Ham fans the celebrations that will last long into the summer, before another adventure gets underway in next season’s Europa League.