By Peter Lynch

19th May, 2023 | 1:10pm

Declan Rice gobsmacked by West Ham United teammate Pablo Fornals in ‘history forever’ verdict

Declan Rice believes Pablo Fornals has written his name in “West Ham history forever” after his goal against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday (18 May).

The winger scored the only goal of the game as the Hammers secured a 1-0 win over AZ in their Europa Conference League semi-final second leg clash.

The stunning solo strike helped West Ham to a 3-1 aggregate win across the two legs, with the club securing a place in the final next month.

“He’s not played as much as he wanted to this year but every time he has come on he has given everything for the badge, for the shirt,” Rice told BT Sport, as quoted by BBC Sport.

“To score that goal and put it through his legs to send West Ham into the final, his name is going to be written in West Ham history forever.”

Unforgettable moment

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Fornals had only been on the pitch for 19 minutes before scoring the goal that helped West Ham clinch their first major European final spot since 1976, having entered the pitch as a 75th-minute substitute.

David Moyes was perhaps simply looking for some fresh legs in what had been a long night for many of his players, who were definitely looking tired as the game went on.

But Fornals decided to take matters into his own hands and seal a dream final for the Hammers all by himself, with the Spaniard dribbling the ball from the halfway line before putting it through the legs of Jordy Clasie and firing it into the bottom corner.

It was a special moment for the player, his teammates and of course all the travelling fans, who were finally rewarded for their efforts with a moment of brilliance.

Fornals hasn’t exactly had a standout season for the Hammers, but he has now definitely etched his name into West Ham folklore.