Just when Liverpool looked on course to secure a top-four finish after wins against Stoke and West Brom, they reverted to type by losing at home to Crystal Palace.
Although the Reds are still third in the table, they could be overtaken by both Manchester City and Manchester United if they win their two games in hand – although they do play each other – while Arsenal would draw level with them in they win their three games in hand.
Despite Philippe Coutinho’s superb free-kick opening the scoring, Liverpool fell to a 2-1 defeat after a brace from former player Christian Benteke.
If a former player consigning them to a devastating defeat was bad enough, Liverpool fans were made even angrier by the behaviour of Mamadou Sakho.
Sakho is on-loan at Palace and was ineligible to play against his parent club.
But that didn’t stop him celebrating with Benteke after the striker equalised at the Kop end, as he ran over towards the defender who was sitting in the stands. The pair then performed their very own handshake.
Benteke’s and Sakho’s handshake
Sakho was later seen on the pitch after the match doing yet another handshake following Benteke’s 74th-minute winner.
Liverpool fans slammed the Frenchman and suggested that there is simply no way back for him when he does return to the club this summer.
Liverpool fans slam Sakho
And Sakho has explained exactly why he did.
Why Sakho celebrated
He claims that he remained seated at first but, when Benteke came over, he couldn’t refuse to do their ‘hand check.’
“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. “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.”
Palace are safe
While Liverpool’s top-four hopes took a massive blow with defeat, Palace’s victory ensured safety.
The three points lifted them to the dizzy heights of 12th, seven point clear of the relegation zone.
And Sakho, who has played an important role in Palace’s revival, is delighted to have helped them reach the 38 point mark in the table.
We are very happy obviously,” he sad.
“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.”