Final vs Fiorentina (2-1)
30,000 fans travelled to Czech Republic for the big occasion. Fans partied in the Old Town of Prague in the night leading up to the game and in the hours prior. More went to the fanzone to sink pints and sing with pop legend and Hammers fan Chesney Hawkes who performed for supporters.
With the final taking place in the 20,000 capacity Eden Arena, only a few lucky ones had tickets and the rest stayed in Letna Park to watch on big screens.
Atmosphere built in the stadium before tension grew when the match began. West Ham started well and tactically looked to restrict captain Cristiano Biraghi, who was hit on the head with an object thrown by Hammers fans in the early stages and is one of the Serie A’s side most creative forces with crosses.
Benrahma and Bowen worked tirelessly on the wingers supporting the defence and the opening period ended goalless after Luka Jovic’s strike was disallowed for offside.
The second-half was West Ham’s half. Biraghi handled the ball and after a scary VAR wait a penalty was give, Benrahma showed his character to step up and score, sparking mass celebrations. But there was more drama to come as Giacomo Bonnaventura equalised.
The game was heading to extra-time but 89:44, the moment Bowen’s shot hit the back of the net after Paqueta played him in. Bowen showed composure with his finish and Prague and East London irrupted with joy as Moyes ran down the pitch. West Ham had done it.
Rice lifted the cup and every player got their hands on the trophy as fans partied all night. A night to remember. Moyes danced with Paqueta and the boss put his medal around his father’s neck. Rice was serenaded by fans in potentially his last game for the club. Bowen’s on fire could be heard all night and I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles could be heard until Thursday morning.
No time to rest from celebrating, our heroes came home with the trophy as thousands lined the streets for the open-top bus parade. Kehrer started chants on the mic as did Rice and Cornet. Paqueta and Emerson danced while Benrahma and Aguerd went mad. Let’s end on a few snaps from the parade.