West Ham stars climb into crowd to break up fights as AZ Alkmaar ‘ultras attack their families’ in ugly scenes
WEST HAM’S Europa Conference League clash with AZ descended into chaos at the final whistle.
The Dutch fans reacted angrily to the Hammers’ 1-0 win, which meant David Moyes’ side progressed to the final 3-1 on aggregate.
APPablo Fornals scored a late winner to confirm West Ham’s place in the final[/caption]
Masked AZ ultras stormed the hospitality area to attack players’ families, leading West Ham stars to intervene.
Lucas Paqueta, Aaron Cresswell, and Flynn Downes were all involved in the chaos and were held back by security and stewards.
Director of football Mark Noble tried in vain to hold back Michail Antonio, who leapt over advertising hoardings to defend the fans and families.
Members of the Irons coaching staff including Kevin Nolan were seen berating stewards for their failure to intervene.
Captain Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen were also seen confronting members of the crowd, with the former appearing to throw a bottle in their direction.
Reacting to the trouble, BT Sport pundit Joe Cole said: “It’s absurd. Grown men attacking the West Ham fans. Players were trying to get involved to break it up.
“AZ Alkmaar fans throwing punches is ridiculous. There were families. Football is for everyone. It’s ridiculous in the modern game. Pathetic.”
His colleague Carlton Cole added: “There was no need for it.
“West Ham have come here, done their job and not disrespected them in any shape or form. The families of the players are over there. Sometimes emotions take hold of you.”
There were clashes between West Ham and AZ fans ahead of kick-off, who again were masked as they caused mayhem on the streets of Alkmaar.
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