Wayne Rooney’s first competitive goal back in blue inspired Everton to a 1-0 opening-weekend victory against Stoke.
After 13 record-breaking years at Manchester United, the 31-year-old made the ideal mark on his Premier League homecoming.
Rooney’s header late in the first half broke the deadlock and set Ronald Koeman’s Everton on course for three points at Goodison Park.
What they saidEverton manager Ronald Koeman: “Maybe a little bit more nervous than normally they are and also the way Stoke play, defending-wise they make it difficult. Last season I think we won 1-0, the same result, and it was maybe a little bit the same. It was not our best game but we had more shots on target, more chances.”Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: “I thought we did fine today. We had a lot of control, certainly in the first half. I think we were good value and we needed to get to half-time. Probably the only chance that Everton created in the first half was the quality ball that they put into the box for you know who.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Idrissa Gana Gueye
Rooney’s impressive Premier League return means the former Manchester United man will get the headlines, but it was hard to look beyond the livewire midfielder in Everton’s engine room for the star of the day. Quick on the ball and smart without it, Gueye played a key role as Ronald Koeman’s men won their opener.
Moment of the match
As a dull first half drifted towards half-time, excellent build-up play brought with it a moment to cherish for Rooney. The 31-year-old, making his Premier League return after 13 years away, met Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s cross with a header that sent Goodison Park wild.
Stat of the match
Rooney’s appearance was his first in the league for Everton since May 15, 2014 – no player has had a longer gap between Premier League appearances for the same club.
Player ratingsEverton: Jordan Pickford 8, Phil Jagielka 7, Michael Keane 7, Ashley Williams 6, Dominic Calvert-Lewin 7, Leighton Baines 6, Morgan Schneiderlin 7, Idrissa Gana Gueye 8, Davy Klaassen 6, Wayne Rooney 8, Sandro Ramirez 6. Substitutes: Cuco Martina (for Williams, 46) 6, Tom Davies (for Klaassen, 60) 6, Kevin Mirallas (for Sandro, 77) 6.Stoke: Jack Butland 7, Mame Biram Diouf 7, Geoff Cameron 6, Kurt Zouma 6, Ryan Shawcross 6, Erik Pieters 6, Joe Allen 6, Darren Fletcher 7, Xherdan Shaqiri 6, Bojan 6, Saido Berahino 6. Substitutes: Peter Crouch (for Berahino, 72) 6, Max Choupo-Moting (for Bojan, 72) 6.
Who’s up next?
Everton v Hajduk Split (Europa League play-off first leg, Thursday August 17)
Stoke v Arsenal (Premier League, Saturday August 19)