West Ham beat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League

Jarrod Bowen scored West Ham's late winner
Jarrod Bowen scored West Ham's late winner / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

West Ham claimed a first European trophy in 58 years on Wednesday night thanks to a very late Jarrod Bowen goal in the Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina.

Declan Rice, in what could have been his last game for the club, 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. Having reached last season’s Europa League semi-finals last season, it was the club’s first appearance in any European final since 1976.

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 goal-less 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.

"I obviously dreamed of scoring but to score the winner in the last minute. It's what you always say you want to do. To do it in front of these fans. I thought I was going to cry. I'm just happy," Bowen told BT Sport straight after the final whistle.

"We had a dream, we haven't had the best season, myself included, but to give these fans this moment, I'm over the moon. I think in my position you make that run 10 times you might get that ball once. As soon as you get it you've got to put it away.

"Never [have I felt like this in my life]. This is the biggest game of my career. The emotion, there was time for one more chance. I'm just so happy. I'm over the moon."

A disappointing Premier League season saw West Ham battling against relegation for much of the domestic campaign. But the Europa Conference League was a welcome tonic throughout. They enjoyed a perfect 100% record in the group stage, before winning all but one knockout game – the only minor blip was a 1-1 draw in the quarter-final first leg against Gent.

West Ham’s prize for winning the competition, aside from the trophy itself, is a place in next season’s Europa League group stage.