Mamadou Sakho says he did not mean to disrespect Liverpool by celebrating Crystal Palace's Anfield win

Sakho celebrated Christian Benteke's brace against Liverpool with an elaborate handshake, but has stressed he did not mean to disrespect supporters of his parent club

Sakho has impressed since joining Crystal Palace on a short-term loan deal
Sakho has impressed since joining Crystal Palace on a short-term loan deal

Liverpool’s on-loan defender Mamadou Sakho has defended his decision to celebrate both of Crystal Palace’s goals in the club’s 2-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.

The French defender moved to Palace on a short-term loan in January, after falling down the pecking order at his parent club.

He fell out with manager Jurgen Klopp on a pre-season tour to the United States and spent the first few weeks of the current season training away from the first-team and playing for Liverpool U23’s.

Sakho has proven an instant success since moving to Selhurst Park, although he was ineligible to feature in the club’s vital away win this weekend. Instead he watched the game from the sidelines, with his decision to celebrate Christian Benteke's brace against Liverpool criticised by angry home supporters.

But Sakho – who exchanged an elaborate handshake with Benteke after his equalising goal and at the full-time whistle – insisted after the match that he had not meant to be disrespectful to the side that still pays his wages.

Benteke and Sakho exchanged an elaborate celebratory handshake

“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 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.”

Liverpool supporters were left furious with Sakho's celebrations

Sakho also spoke of his delight at Palace’s improved chances of remaining in the Premier League.

The win lifts the club to 12th in the Premier League, only two points outside the top-half of the table. They meanwhile sit a comfortable seven points ahead of 18th-placed Swansea City.

“We are very happy obviously,” he added. “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.”

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