Incredible scenes as Wayne Rooney scores on return to Everton

Posted August 13, 2017

Everton manager Ronald Koeman: "You smell and feel the motivation of the players to start this Saturday".

Having enjoyed a record-breaking, medal-laden stint at Old Trafford, the 31-year-old this summer returned to Goodison Park in search of regular first-team football.

As players, we all know we will need to play well to keep our place in the team.

The 41-cap global had an injury-interrupted campaign a year ago, featuring just 13 times for his club, while his appearances for his country last October led to a war of words between Everton and Ireland team management. To make things a bit more complicated for Stoke, they also struggled on the road last season.

It was the Toffees' best move of the match - one Rooney was twice involved in before adding the finishing touch.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "Everyone is fed up of friendlies, and we just all want the season to start now".

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"I don't say impossible, but 25 goals is a lot and we have to find other ways and productivity from other players and we like to bring in other players in". I think that all bodes well for the games we have ahead of us.

Everton's last four Premier League campaigns have all begun with a draw, with three of them ending 2-2.

Rooney, who was full of invention and energy throughout, rose well to meet a fine Dominic Calvert-Lewin cross with a looping header into the far corner on the stroke of half-time.

The Toffees have scored 30 Premier League goals at home in 2017, more than any other side - and five more than they managed in the whole of 2016.

But it did happen and as a result, fans of every team in the league, even the smaller ones, at the start of the season may harbour a hope that lightning can strike the same spot twice and that their team might be able to emulate Leicester City's fairy tale achievement.

Stoke's only previous victory on the opening day of a Premier League season came in 2009 (D3, L5).

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