Wayne Rooney hits winner as Everton start with a win
Premier League, Goodison Park – Everton 1 (Rooney, 45) Stoke City 0
Wayne Rooney marked his second Premier League debut for Everton with the winning goal as the Toffees beat Stoke City 1-0.
The first half was largely forgettable with both sides adjusting to their new line-ups with the Potters handing league debuts to Darren Fletcher and Kurt Zouma while Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez and Rooney started for the Toffees.
But the former Manchester United skipper made it a game to remember at Goodison Park with a header from Dominic Calvert-Lewin's pinpoint cross.
And Jordan Pickford produced a stunning save in stoppage time to keep out Xherdan Shaqiri’s long-range pile-driver as Everton held on for the victory.
Wayne Rooney celebrates his winner for boyhood club EvertonPA Sport
How far can this new-look Everton go? Ronald Koeman went for a three-man defence and handed debuts to five players so the first-half was a bit disjointed. They improved in the second period with Idrissa Gueye and Dominic Calvert-Lewin impressing. And with Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and possibly Ross Barkley to return, the Toffees could surprise a few of the big boys this season.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Wayne Rooney (Everton): The 31-year-old controlled the midfield area with a string of pinpoint long balls and set pieces. He started the move for his goal and finished it off with a fine header.
Wayne Rooney scores on his second Everton Premier League debutGetty Images
EVERTON: Pickford 7, Keane 7, Williams 6, Jagielka 5, Baines 5, Gueye 8, Schneiderlin 6, Klaassen 4, Rooney 8, Ramirez 6, Calvert-Lewin 7. Subs: Davies 5, Martina 5, Mirallas 5
STOKE CITY: Butland 6, Zouma 7, Shawcross 6, Cameron; 6 Diouf, 5, Fletcher 6, Allen 6, Pieters 6, Shaqiri 5, Bojan 5, Berahino 4. Subs: Choupo-Moting n/a, Crouch n/a
13' - CHANCE! Rooney tees up Sandro who runs across goal before firing in a low shot from outside the area which goes wide.
45’ - GOAL FOR ROONEY! A well taken header from around 12 yards out after Calvert-Lewin's cross.
58’ - SO CLOSE! Allen tees up the ball for Fletcher whose first-time drive from 20 yards is just wide.
68’ - GOOD SAVE! Butland keeps out Calvert-Lewin's shot at his near post after the youngster dispossessed Zouma.
90’+3 - GREAT SAVE! Shaqiri goes on a mazy run and fires in a long-range effort which Pickford keeps out with a one-handed stop.
Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri in action with Everton's Leighton BainesReuters
- Wayne Rooney set a new Premier League record for the longest gap between two appearances for the same team (4837 days between Everton apps).
- Rooney also set a new Premier League record for the longest gap between goals for the same club (4869 days days between Everton goals).
- No player has scored more Premier League goals on the opening day than Wayne Rooney (8 - level with Alan Shearer & Frank Lampard).
- Rooney’s goal was his 300th goal involvement in the Premier League (199 goals, 101 assists), only Alan Shearer (324) has more.
- Mark Hughes hasn’t won any of his last seven opening day Premier League games (D2 L5) in charge of three different clubs in that time (Fulham, QPR and Stoke).
- Stoke have won just one of their 10 Premier League matches on opening day (W1 D3 L6).
- The Toffees have won 10 of their last 11 Premier League games at Goodison Park, keeping seven clean sheets in the process.
- The Potters have failed to score in seven of their last nine away games in the Premier League.