West Ham United hero Jarrod Bowen admitted he was so intimidated by the ‘shot-gun’ and ‘grenade’ like blasts at Lyon, he briefly thought that he wasn’t going to make it.
Bowen scored the Hammers’ third and final goal against the French giants in what was a spectacular 3-0 away victory in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final. The Lyon ‘Ultras’ were so furious with their team’s performance, they even tried to rush onto the pitch to confront their players.
And Bowen was the most relieved person in the stadium when the supporter’s failed to get onto the pitch as he admitted he was rather spooked by the hostile atmosphere at the Groupama Stadium. He even briefly contemplated his personal safety after hearing several earth rattling blasts from the home crowd.
“I remember the Frankfurt game and the Lyon matches – those games were hostile,” Bowen said to ‘Fozcast – the Ben Foster Podcast’. “The shows before the game, obviously being the knockout stages, they had flares and I thought they had guns or bombs.
“They let off these grenade-like sounds, and I swear to God on the pitch I thought ‘I’m going to die!’ After the game at Lyon, because we beat them 3-0, their fans were obviously fuming.
“They were trying to break down their stands and get on the pitch and I thought ‘we’re in trouble here’. “I heard these bangs go off and I thought ‘someone’s got a shotgun’ or ‘someone has got a grenade, I’m going to die’.
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“I’ve never heard it before, you don’t hear it at Vicarage Road do you?” Fortunately for Bowen, the fans had flares and fireworks rather than weapons, and the terrifying experience did not take the shine of what was a magnificent adventure for the Hammers.
David Moyes’ side overcame serial Europa League winners Sevilla in the Round of 16 stages before sweeping Lyon aside in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt proved to be a step too far, as the Bundesliga giants edged past the Hammers 3-1 on aggregate.
Bowen contributed three goals and one assist over the course of the competition, with two goals coming against Lyon over the two legs.