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Wayne Rooney: Back where I belong at Everton and meaning business

13 August, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Greg Wolfe
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Although it was a performance that lacked cohesion and penetration, particularly when the side was labouring under the 5-3-2 formation, the win gets Everton off to a desired start to the new campaign.

Everton earned 43 points at home last season, their highest tally for 27 years.

It was a fairy-tale return for Wayne Rooney after his move back to Goodison Park this summer as he nodded home the winning goal in first-half injury time to seal a 1-0 victory for the Toffees.

We know it's going to be challenging competing on four fronts but the manager has made some great signings, bringing in the likes of Davy Klaassen, Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and Sandro Ramirez, meaning the competition to make the starting XI is going to be intense.

Koeman not only believes that Rooney fits perfectly into his plans at Everton, but he also thinks he is far from the faded force that many felt he was becoming at United.

Darren Fletcher, Kurt Zouma and Max Choupo-Moting are expected to be key men while Marko Arnautovic, Jon Walters and Glenn Whelan have led the departures.

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In stoppage-time, Rooney once again took possession in midfield, quickly moving the ball wide before making a perfectly-time burst forward.

The 31-year-old, who left the club for Manchester United in 2004, found space in the area to head a Dominic Calvert-Lewin cross past Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland before the break.

Sprinting towards the crowd in delight, Rooney slid to the turf to celebrate before he was mobbed by jubilant team-mates.

Stoke are a classic mid-table Premier League club.

The closing stages were nervy times for the Goodison faithful as Hughes threw Peter Crouch on to get on the end of a succession of high balls pumped into the Blues' box but it was Xerdan Shaquiri who nearly rescued a point in the third minute of injury time.

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