After four straight defeats, West Ham finally got their Premier League season up and running with a terrific 3-1 victory against Everton at Goodison Park.
Two goals from Andriy Yarmolenko on his full debut and a Marko Arnautovic strike lifted West Ham off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone.
However, there did appear to be one sour note during the victory.
Sky commentators suggested that, in the second-half, Lucas Perez refused to warm-up when Arnautovic got injured with Michail Antonio coming on instead.
Cameras caught a rather unhappy Perez sitting on the bench and it seemed Sky claim was indeed correct.
But after the match, manager Manuel Pellegrini denied that Perez refused to warm-up by saying: “It is very simple. When Marco had a problem with his knee I wanted to put Lucas but he was sitting on the bench and Michail was ready.
“We had already taken too long over the substitution so I put Antonio on. I don’t have to explain the decision, especially during the game, but Antonio was ready so Antonio was the change.”
And now Perez has broken his silence.
The former Arsenal forward has released a statement in response to his perceived refusal to come on against Everton.
It read: “Given the false information spread by the media that has affected my image, I am obliged to explain the only truth: I have never ever refused to warm up in my whole career, let alone play a match.
“In my current club the players on the bench warm up in series of 3 to 5 minutes, in continuous rotation. In the moment that Marko got injured, I was on the bench after warming up. The coach called me to go out to play, however having realised that it was faster to substitute Antonio in, who at that moment was warming up he changed his decision.
“The images that have been misinterpreted correspond to a talk with the goalkeeper’s coach, in which I never refused to warm up and explained what happened. As a professional I accept the decision and I will continue working hard to have as many minutes as I can.”
The ‘truth’ is finally out.
We think Sky Sports owe Perez an apology…News Now - Sport News