A revitalised Wayne Rooney says he’s relishing a new lease on life at Goodison Park following his winning goal in Everton’s season-opening 1-0 victory over Stoke City.
Picked out by Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the stroke of half-time, the 31-year-old immediately delivered on his highly romanticised return with the only goal of a cagey encounter.
The well-taken header lifted Rooney’s Premier League haul to 199 goals and set Everton’s new era into motion as five players made their top-flight debut for the Toffees.
After enduring a tough end to his time with Manchester United, the former England captain is savouring a second chance with his boyhood club.
“To play for this football club again is a huge deal for me,” Rooney told Sky Sports.
“To score in my first game in the Premier League back at Goodison, the winning goal, it doesn’t get much better.
“Today a good Stoke team made it difficult but it’s important you win.
“We’ve got some tough fixtures coming up and it was important we got off to a good start and that will give us all confidence going into the next game.”
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) August 12, 2017
Stoke had edged the first half until Rooney’s goal, with Potters boss Mark Hughes left to lament the striker’s match-turning effort
“Probably the only chance Everton created in the first half was the quality ball put into our box for you know who,” Hughes said after the match.
“He was always going to be part of the story today, that was our worry and how it panned out.”
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