- Europa League schedule and results
- Schedule and results Europa League Conference
Declan Rice in the oven and mill
Without him, the English collective would have collapsed. Coveted by almost all the cadors of the Premier League, Declan Rice once again released a flamboyant performance tonight. Even if he is not involved in the two goals of his team, he is the fundamental, central element at the heart of the game of David Moyes' formation. Both valuable in defense as on his intervention against Nicolas Gonzalez (4th) on the side but also in attack, with distant attempts (13th). The England international finished the match with 82% of successful passes, as well as five duels won out of his seven. Moreover, he lost only seven balls in the 90 minutes. As a symbol, he lifted the cup as captain for his likely last game at the Hammers.
The Hammers' attacking vice
If Declan Rice embodied the clean and regular distiller, several other offensive elements were not constantly dangerous, but very realistic in front of the cages. West Ham won the final 2–1 with only eight strikes but five shots. They knew how to take advantage of the slightest opportunity, the slightest opportunity to make the Viola doubt. They didn't even hesitate to cause contact in attack to win a penalty on one hand. On several occasions, Saïd Benhrama and Jarrod Bowen came looking for the Italian defenders in the hope of getting a free kick, a corner or a penalty. All for stopped kicks. A cruelly effective recipe.
See alsoEuropa League Conference: at the end of the suspense, West Ham wins the final against Fiorentina
The defensive wanderings of La Viola
How cruel it is for Fiorentina... Vincenzo Italiano's protégés believed in it but made more than regrettable mistakes. The best symbol being this last defensive action. Goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano asked all his players to go up and on his clearance, La Viola lost the ball in the air, which left all the space for Jarrod Bowen to take the depth and thus deceive the Italian goalkeeper. Without making any real big individual mistakes, it was collectively that the Tuscans dived to the back of their block. Nikola Milenković looked less consistent than usual, Luca Ranieri sometimes too raw in his decisions and veteran Cristiano Biraghi sometimes indulged in avoidable fouls. It is no coincidence that the rare English opportunities have been valuable.
Fiorentina's lack of realism
But it's not just the defense that needs to be debated again. How could La Viola win this match by shooting only four shots on 17 attempts? Already in a classic match, it is hardly possible. In a high-stakes final where every ball is important, it's an almost impossible quest. Apart from twirling and useful wingers who ensured to overflow with Nicolas Gonzalez and Christian Kouamé, the rest the Viola lacked a real striker. Neither Luka Jovic nor Arthur Cabral have been able to be as dangerous, realistic and effective as usual this season. Yes, Fiorentina can have regrets, a lot of regrets.