In what could be the last game for West Ham United skipper Declan Rice, his team has given him an astounding farewell. The Premier League club has managed to defeat Italian club ACF Fiorentina in the final of the 2023 UEFA Conference Europa League final to lift the coveted trophy.
The win is West Ham United’s very first trophy in over 50 years in Europe. Declan Rice became the first Hammers captain since the late Bobby Moore in 1965 to lift continental silverware – on that occasion Moore raised high the Cup Winners’ Cup. West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen’s dramatic last-minute goal sank Fiorentina 2-1 as the Hammers secured the first piece of silverware since 1980’s FA Cup, and the first European trophy since 1965, on a historic and emotional night in Prague.
Fiorentina dominated possession and had more than twice as many shots on goal as West Ham over the course of 90 minutes. But it remained goalless until just over an hour had been played when Said Benrahma broke the deadlock from the penalty spot.
That lead lasted barely any time at all before Giacomo Bonaventura had equalised. But the Hammers snatched victory at the death when Bowen was sent through on goal and kept his composure to finish beyond the onrushing Pietro Terracciano.
David Moyes, the current manager of West Ham United has written his name in West Ham folklore, joining Ron Greenwood and John Lyall as trophy-winning Hammers managers.
“I actually think the last two years have been an incredible journey,” he said. He further stated, “It’s an incredible achievement to do so well in Europe, you look at some of the very good teams who find it a struggle. It’s great credit, we’ve turned a disappointing season into a super season.”
With the win, a place in next season’s Europa League group stage is confirmed for West Ham United.