Mamadou Sakho insists ‘nothing was implied’ by his celebration with Christian Benteke during Crystal Palace’s win at Liverpool.
Former Reds striker Christian Benteke bagged a brace against his former club to relieve Palace’s relegation concerns and hamper Liverpool’s Champions League qualification hopes.
Sakho, who is on loan at Palace from Liverpool, celebrated Benteke’s equaliser with an elaborate handshake with the goalscorer – a move with attracted criticism from some who say he should have been more respectful towards his parent club.
But Sakho has responded, saying there was no disrespect intended.
“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 said in quotes reported by the 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.
“We are very happy obviously. That was our goal when we set foot on the pitch. We need all the points we can get to be sure to stay in the Premier League – that is our mission. That is why I accepted the challenge with Palace, and we need to be the best we can as a team to succeed.”