Joey Barton was one of many who tuned into Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday.
And, never one to shy away from expressing his views, the Burnley midfielder had a few words to say about one of Liverpool’s stars.
Barton aimed a backhanded compliment in the direction of Mamadou Sakho, comparing the Liverpool defender to a clown but also calling him a genius.
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Quite how that is possible is anyone’s guess.
Sakho managed to stifle the threat of United’s attack - it wasn’t so much a threat, more a mere presence - as Liverpool overcame their dire opponents.
Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino will hog the headlines after their consummate display, but Barton had some kind(ish) words to say about Sakho.
“Mamadou Sakho is the most unorthodox, efficient, unbalanced, effective defender on the Planet,” the former Newcastle United man told his 3.18 million Twitter followers.
Gary Lineker responded to Barton, saying: “Couldn’t agree more. First thoughts were that he was hopeless, but actually he might just be brilliant.”
Barton continued: “Watching him is similar to viewing a clown spin plates. You are just waiting for them to smash on the floor. Yet, somehow he keeps it going.
“Contradicts the laws of motion with every touch. The man is genius. A true one off... #sakho”.
An unorthodox genius who resembles a clown spinning plates. What a perfect description for Sakho.
The Frenchman doesn’t always instil confidence in Liverpool fans but his no-nonsense style is much appreciated.
It’s taken a long time for Sakho to settle at Anfield - he joined the club in 2013 - but he has become one of the most important players in the team this season.
Club hero John Aldridge praised the 26-year-old earlier after the 3-1 win at Chelsea in December.
“I was made up, for example, with the way Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel completely nullified the threat of Diego Costa,” Aldridge said, per the Liverpool Echo. “Sakho has really stepped up to the plate since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival.
“He looks like the defender we thought we were buying in 2013, and he’s emerged as a real leader on the field.”
Crucial clean sheet
Liverpool are favourites to reach the quarter-finals after Sturridge and Firmino’s goals, and Klopp will also be chuffed that his team were able to keep a clean sheet.
Not that Sakho or the rest of Liverpool’s defence were troubled too much during the 90 minutes.
Klopp watched his team lose the Capital One Cup final on penalties but Liverpool have bounced back with three successive wins and now have their eyes set on European glory.
As for Klopp, he is surely eyeing a meeting with his former club Borussia Dortmund in the final.
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