Two months ago, across Stanley Park at Anfield, West Ham manager Avram Grant had been subjected to a barrage of abuse from his own travelling fans when they dared him to give them a wave.
Red-faced: Realisation suddenly dawns on Frederic Piquionne as he celebrates his goal with the away fans at Everton on Saturday. Referee Peter Walton was waiting to show the West Ham striker a second yellow card, ruling him out of the Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Birmingham on Wednesday, and costing the Hammers dear as they conceded a late equaliser at Goodison Park.
Sensing that a raised hand would bring derision, he stared straight ahead as his team were being ripped apart by Liverpool. He was not 'sacked in the morning', as the taunts would have it, and there were signs at Goodison Park on Saturday that Grant may yet win over those who recently ridiculed him.
Midway through the second half at Everton, with his side well placed for a win that was to be denied in injury time, a cry of 'Avram, Avram, give us a wave', rose from the far side - and this time it sounded genuine.
Again there was no response, but not due to suspicions of any sinister intent.
'I just didn't hear it,' said Grant. 'It is especially touching for me that they should do it and maybe I can wave back to them through you, if you can print that.
'They have been really great and the spirit they show affects the team.'
GRAHAM POLL - The Official Line Referee Peter Walton was right to give Frederic Piquionne a second yellow card. It is often said that referees should apply common sense and understand the passion of the game. But after being cautioned for lashing out at Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Piquionne's initally acceptable goal celebration crossed the line when he jumped the advertising boards and joined the fans. Players know this is not allowed and referees are told it is due to therisk to supporters. Walton was professional and did his job. Piquionne was not and let his team down.
Frederic Piquionne paid for celebrating with the fans after putting West Ham 2-1 up in the 84th minute. The striker received a second booking and Everton took advantage with their last-gasp leveller.
Contrasting the two visits to Merseyside, Grant said: 'I understand what happened at Anfield. So many of our supporters travelled up and we were really, really poor. We did nothing on the night.
'Freddie Piquionne showed emotion after his goal here and they showed emotion then. I feel they did nothing wrong. I'm just so pleased with the way they have reacted since.'
Grant called for a change in the laws after Piquionne's dismissal.
'It was a joke red card,' he fumed. 'The supporters have travelled up and got behind the team, so who better to celebrate with? These are the laws, but this one is stupid and has to be changed.'
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