Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Rooney Scores In Goodison Park Return As Everton Defeat Stoke

Rooney Scores In Goodison Park Return As Everton Defeat Stoke

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

Wayne Rooney marked his top-flight return to Everton after 13 years by scoring the victor against Stoke with his 199th goal in the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney will make his first league appearance for Everton in 13 years, while Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane are among the likely debutants. Rooney will bring experience to the side and although he is not the player he once was, he will still be able to contribute greatly to the team. The Blues started the match poorly, and the tactical setup was unusual at best.

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

The 41-cap global had an injury-interrupted campaign previous year, 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.

"It's always a close game when we play Everton - a draw and they won by a single goal last season". Let the games begin and may the best team wins!

By the time Dominic Calvert-Lewin swung over a pin-point cross, Rooney had eluded the Stoke defence so completely that he had the freedom of the penalty area to bury a clinical header past Butland from 10 yards.

"I know that expectations are higher than last season", Koeman told the Mirror.

Before Leicester City were crowned league champions in 2015/16, the idea of a small team challenging for the title, let alone winning, was not something even remotely possible in this day and age where bigger clubs with deep pockets tend to rule the roost.

The forward started tenaciously and could have found himself in the book for a late tackle on former United team-mate Darren Fletcher, but Rooney's desire to track back and help his side defensively also proved invaluable against a direct Stoke threat. He last scored in West Brom's 3-2 home victory over Crystal Palace in February 2016.

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