French central defender Mamdou Sakho has defended his controversial celebrations in Crystal Palace’s 2-1 win against Liverpool on weekend.
The 27-year old is currently on loan at Crystal Palace until the end of the season from Liverpool and has created a stir of anger among Reds fans after his celebration with Christian Benteke’s winner against the Merseyside at Anfield. The result saw Crystal Palace become the first side to defeat Liverpool at Anfield in three successive outings after Chelsea in 2005.
The Reds suffered a shocking defeat to Crystal Palace as the Potters’ star signing christian Benteke has scored a brace to give the relegation threatened Palace much needed win. Sakho, who is ineligible to play against Liverpool as per his loan terms, greeted Benteke with an epic celebration which many viewed as a strong message to manager Jurgen Klopp.
Sakho, who was wrongly banned by UEFA earlier last season, has returned to team earlier last summer. However, a rift with manager Jurgen Klopp saw him sent home from their pre-season tour in US in summer and he has not featured for Reds this season.
Sakho currently has a contract with Liverpool till 2020 and was loaned out to Crystal Palace as Reds manager Jurgen Klopp did not see him in team plans for the rest of the season. However, despite all the controversy about the celebration, the Frenchman has revealed that there is no motive in his greeting to Benteke on Monday.
“When Christian scored, I stayed seated as I didn’t want to celebrate by respect for the club to which I belong and the fans,” Sakho told Liverpool Echo.
“But when he came over to me, I stood up and did what we always do as friends, our hand check.
“There was nothing behind it, nothing else to imply by it. Just two friends who are playing for the same team and who have the same goal, which is to get the three points at each game to make sure the team stays in the Premier League.
“If we were losing 2-0 and Christian reduced the score, we would have also done it if he came to me.”
The loss to Crystal Palace has put Liverpool in a difficult situation as they will need to win the remaining four Premier League games and hope other results go in their favor to qualify for Champions League next season as the race for Champions League spots is getting fierce.