Despite a nervy opening that saw Chelsea up within minutes, Liverpool were the dominant side the rest of the way at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and fully deserved their 3-1 victory. And it all started from the back, where Mamadou Sakho put in a nearly perfect performance on and off the ball.
While Martin Skrtel was solid alongside him, putting any of the shakiness of his first few games under Jürgen Klopp behind him and returning to his defensively reliable best, Sakho managed to be just as strong without the ball while contributing to the Liverpool attack in a way few centre halves are capable of.
In fact, he had such a good game on the ball—and Mourinho's Chelsea were so thoroughly dominated for most of the day by Klopp's Liverpool—that no Chelsea player completed more final-third passes than Sakho. More impressive was that all of those passes came from his own half or the centre of the pitch.
Most Liverpool fans have always known the "Sakho is awkward" knock to have no merit, that such criticism is the sign of a poor pundit barely paying attention to what's actually happening, or too simplistic in their reading of the game to see past that occasionally his arms and legs seem less than fully coordinated.
A performance like the one against Chelsea puts lie to such simple-minded misreadings. Sadly, it still probably won't stop some pundits criticising Sakho's percieved awkwardness. But that shouldn't matter to Liverpool fans—or to Sakho—now that the French centre half has a manager who seems to believe in him.Video by MrBoywunder