West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has assured that Marko Arnautovic did not suffer any injury during the recent FA Cup third round triumph over Birmingham City. The Austria international was a surprise starter from the off for the Cup encounter and he managed to find the scoresheet within the opening couple of minutes.
However, he was surprisingly substituted within the 20th minute of the game which brought about an angry reaction, but Pellegrini has now clarified that the decision was precautionary after the marksman felt some pain in his back, he said:
“Marko felt a pain in his back and at the beginning he wanted to recover, but he could not continue. It was not good to take a risk as he has just returned after an injury and he played 90 minutes less than 72 hours ago and 65 minutes in the other game, so it was good for him not to continue. There is no problem and he scored a goal!”
Following Marko’s substitution, the Hammers could not find another breakthrough for most of the game but they eventually put the tie to bed in the 91st minute with Andy Carroll scoring his first goal for the club this season. Meanwhile, the focus should now shift towards the Premier League but the players do have the opportunity for a breather with a one-week gap to the next fixture.
West Ham are currently occupying the 10th position on the table with 28 points on the board and they are scheduled to entertain Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick-off. The Hammers go into the derby with a seven-match winless run against the Gunners but they should fancy their chances of outsmarting their neighbours this time around, given the visitors have been vulnerable at the back with just three shutouts this season.