West Ham beat AZ Alkmaar 1-0 in the second leg of the Europa Conference League semi-final 2022/23. With this result, the English team entered the final with a total score of 3-1 after two matches. West Ham reached the final of a major European tournament for the third time in its history, after the 1964/65 (Cup Winners’ Cup) and 1975/76 (Cup Winners’ Cup – runner-up) seasons.
It seems that witnessing the home team’s defeat made AZ Alkmaar fans angry, they poured into the stands to attack the away team’s fans. There were even relatives of the players sitting in the stands being attacked by the home team’s fans.
Down the pitch, West Ham’s stars could not keep their composure. Michail Antonio, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen were seen climbing into the stands as their loved ones were attacked by AZ Alkmaar fans. West Ham sporting director Mark Noble and many members of the West Ham coaching staff had to dissuade the players.
Lucas Paqueta, Aaron Cresswell and Flynn Downes were all involved in the commotion and were held back by security personnel. Reacting to the incident, BT Sport pundit Joe Cole said: “It’s ridiculous. The men attacked the West Ham fans. The players tried to protect their families. The fans AZ Alkmaar’s supporters throw ridiculous punches. Football shouldn’t have such ugly images.”