West Ham has turned their attention back to European football after the drama of a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in the European Conference League, with David Moyes eyed to start the UEFA Conference League group campaign with a win. The crowd at the London stadium paid tribute to Her Majesty Elizabeth II, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 96, during a moment of silence before West Ham United’s first Conference League match of the new season. West Ham avoided a shock in their first match in the UEFA Conference League by completing a comeback and scoring three goals in Group B.
The Hammers rallied in the third-tier European Conference League in the second half by beating the Romanian FCSB 3-1 in London. Goals from Jarrod Bowen, Emerson Palmieri and Michail Antonio Jarrod helped West Ham beat Romanian FCSB in Conference League. While FC West Ham‘s first appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage a year ago was news and part of the fun, the excitement for a second straight season in Europe seems to stem from speculation that the club is a third-tier European Conference League team.
Declan Rice returned to Euro duty after serving a two-game suspension for accusing an official of corruption during last season’s Europa League semi-final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. Summer addition Flynn Downes joined him in midfield for his first West Ham appearance, while Gianluca Scamacca headed the line after recovering from sickness. Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell were both ruled out due to injury, however Craig Dawson made the bench despite a thigh ailment. The hosts had early control and opportunities, but Scamacca wasted them against a tenacious center-back partnership of Joyskim Dawa and Joonas Tamm.
Since at least 2015, UEFA has allegedly explored establishing a third-tier competition, claiming that a bottom-level league may provide teams from lower-ranked UEFA member nations with a chance to go beyond their usual elimination from the Champions League and Europa League. In mid-2018, reports surfaced that an agreement had already been made for the tournament to be introduced, and that the 48-team Europa League group stage would be cut in half, with the lowest half constituting the core of what would be the new event. On 2 December 2018, UEFA stated that the league, tentatively entitled “Europa League 2” or simply “UEL2,” will be inaugurated as part of the 2021–24 three-year competition cycle, with UEFA noting that the new event would feature “more matches for more clubs and more associations.” The competition’s official name, “UEFA Europa Conference League,” was revealed on September 24, 2019.