Third Kit, Paqueta Winning Assist & More- Talking points from Conference League Final

West Ham picked up their first piece of silverware in more than four decades as they edged Fiorentina 2-1 in Prague to lift the Conference League trophy. The final was a tight, cagey affair, with chances at a premium for both sides, but the Hammers did just enough to secure a historic triumph, with Lucas Paqueta’s brilliant last minute pass setting up Jarrod Bowen’s 90th minute winner.

Here are our talking points from the game in Prague

Hammers in third kit

With Fiorentina the designated home team for this clash, West Ham were forced to wear a change strip for the final, and they opted to wear their white and orange third kit for this historic clash in the Czech capital.


More wins for West Ham in the UECL than in the Prem in 2022/23

As stunning as it sounds, West Ham actually managed more wins in the Conference League proper (12) than they did in the Premier League in 2022/23 (11). That 12 becomes 14 if you include the qualifying round tie against Viborg. The only game they failed to win was the first leg of their quarterfinal tie away in Belgium against Gent– it ended in a 1-1 draw. Every other game saw the Hammers run out winners!

Wins (1)

Chances at a premium for both sides

West Ham didn’t really trouble Terraciano in the Fiorentina goal. The Viola had 18 shots (7 for West Ham) and more than two thirds of the ball (68% possession). But two key second half moments- the Biraghi handball that allowed Benrahma to score a penalty, and the superb late Paqueta pass, saw the Hammers run out 2-1 winners.

Third (1)

Is this the last time we see Declan Rice in West Ham colours?

If it is, it’s a wonderful way to sign off. Rice has been fantastic in the last six years, and we’ve been privileged to witness his rise from a shy teenager who made his debut in the Bilic era into one of the best midfielders in the world. It would, of course, be fantastic to see him at the London Stadium for a few more years, but nobody will begrudge him a move, especially given the club’s struggles in the league in 22/23.

The current transfer window odds indicate that Rice’s most likely destination this summer will be the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal strong favourites to secure his signature. If you do fancy a flutter on his next move, there are some pretty decent offers currently available on the Free Bets UK portal.

Third Kit

Fiorentina unable to convert dominance into goals

As mentioned above, most of the play was done by Fiorentina, with West Ham happy to sit back and attack on the counter. There was a period in the second half when the Viola were quite dominant- this came when they scored their goal (via Bonaventura), and West Ham lost key defender Kurt Zouma to injury, necessitating the introduction of Thilo Kehrer into defence.

Sofyan Amrabat was excellent in midfield, and Nicolas Gonzalez was a constant threat down the wing, but Fiorentina couldn’t quite find that cutting edge upfront.

What next for Moyes?

There were plenty of calls for his axing last season, but he has written himself into West Ham folklore with this victory. Only two other managers before him have won silverware with the club- Ron Greenwood and John Lyall.

There will inevitably be some post-Rice planning to be done, and the money from his departure will have to be invested well- especially in a striker, another midfielder, and possibly a couple of defenders.

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