Everton v Stoke City... Match report and MotM Poll..

Everton Man of the Match

  • Jordan Pickford

    Votes: 58 11.3%
  • Leighton Baines

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Ashley Williams

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Phil Jagielka

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Michael Keane

    Votes: 24 4.7%
  • Idrissa Gana Gueye

    Votes: 127 24.8%
  • Morgan Schneiderlin

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Davy Klaassen

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sandro Ramirez

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin

    Votes: 10 2.0%
  • Wayne Rooney

    Votes: 287 56.1%
  • Cuco Martina

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • Tom Davies

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Kevin Mirallas

    Votes: 1 0.2%

  • Total voters
    512
  • Poll closed .
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AndyC

Moderator
Staff member
#1
Rooney's fairytale return capped with superb header

Everton 1 - 0 Stoke City

Wayne Rooney and every Evertonian could only have dreamt of him scoring on his return to Premiership action for the Blues, maybe it was written in the stars.

After a busy start to the summer transfer activity and successful pre-season schedule including progression in the early stages of the Europa League, the serious business of the Premier League began with the visit of Mark Hughes and his Stoke City outfit to a full house Goodison bathed in pleasant sunshine and offering perfect playing conditions.

Wanting to maintain last season's excellent home form with a winning start, Ronald Koeman selected: Pickford, Baines, Williams, Jagielka, Keane, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Klaassen, Ramirez, Calvert-Lewin and Rooney.

The Potters lined up: Butland, Cameron, Shawcross, Zouma, Pieters, Allen, Fletcher, Diouf, Shaquiri, Bojan Krkric and Berahino.

In charge of proceedings was referee Neil Swarbrick.

A slow, at times turgid, opening forty-five minutes ended in glorious fashion with the fairy tale homecoming goal for Wayne Rooney.

Most of the first half was eminently forgettable as Everton plodded rather than purred, dominating the possession but, having the only attempt on target with a deflected Gana Gueye shot on twenty minutes that Butland comfortably saved.

Joe Allen was booked on 28 minutes for tripping Rooney as he looked to capitalise on collecting a quick pass from DCL.

Finally, as the fourth official was signalling one extra minute, Everton clicked into gear with Gana playing a one-two with Rooney to then find Ramirez. The Spaniard turned and played DCL into space for the inch perfect cross for Wayne Rooney to plant his header beyond the reach of the despairing Butland.

Half Time: 1 - 0

Cuco Martina came on for Ashley Williams in a tactical switch away from the three-man back line that hadn't exactly sparkled in the opening half.

Baines was felled by what appeared an elbow from Shaquiri that went unpunished with the Stoke move ending with a cross flashing across the face of the Everton six yard box.

The second half was much improved with more pace and movement and a great ball from Rooney for DCL needed a superb tackle from Zouma to avert the danger.

Rooney was at the certain of just about everything and a cross field ball found Baines on the left and his ball inside saw only a weak chip shot from Klaassen.

The hour mark saw Tom Davies enter the fray coming on for Klaassen and the improvement in Everton's general play continued when DCL robbed Zouma and forced Butland into a smart save at the near post.

Rooney again linked well with Martina for cross that saw Keane hurt in heading the ball back across the Stoke six yard area.

Stoke used the stoppage to bring Crouch and Choupo-Moting on for Berahino and Bojan respectively and six minutes later, Kevin Mirallas replaced Ramirez.

Into the final ten minutes and Stoke were pumping high balls into the box for Crouch and co, but Everton stood firm to run the clock down.

In added on time, Jordan Pickford capped a debut clean sheet with a terrific save to deny Shaquiri who had been the biggest threat from a Stoke perspective.

Full Time: 1 - 0

Speaking after the game, Wayne Rooney commented, "it was a great moment to score. It was a tough game and the changes at half time worked well as we were better second half and deserved to win the game. To score and for it to be the winner was a very special moment for me personally."

Mark Hughes noted, "we started well and had good first half control. We needed to get to half time, but allowed the move for you-know-who, who was always going to be part of today's' story".

"The result was not what we wanted, but overall, I was satisfied with our performance".

Ronald Koeman remarked, "we looked nervous on the ball in the first half, Stoke made it difficult and it was a great goal from Wayne".

"The decision to go with four at the back made us more comfortable on the ball and we made more chances second half. We defended well and only allowed them one shot on goal".

"It wasn't the best performance, but it was three points and a clean sheet for Jordan, so I am relatively happy".
 
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maccavennie

Player Valuation: £70m
#6
Delighted to see Pickford and Keane do so well and Gueye earn plaudits for a hard working display but my MOTM would have to go to Rooney. Fantastic strike which ultimately got us the win and 3 points. Great start to the season for him.
 

formerly manx toffee

Player Valuation: £70m
#11
I am liking a few players today. Pickford looks confident. Gana everywhere again. Keane solid. But today it has to go to Rooney. Scored, bought fouls, sprayed ball around, held it, everything.

COYB
 

Gladystweet

Player Valuation: £70m
#14
Rooney. Great goal, great power slide, some great vision, and had the know how to close out the game.

Gana a close second though.

Pickford was very assured as well.
 

atrottel

Player Valuation: £40m
#15
So nice to have an intelligent player again in Rooney, who knows when to play the percentage pass, when to fill in, when to draw the foul, etc.

DCL did well in a match which was challenging for him. Keane was unruffled, Pickford was excellent, Gueye was his usual Energizer bunny self and I didn't think Martina was bad at all.

Jagielka, on the other hand, seems to have forgotten how to pass a ball, although he had a couple of good interceptions.

Not sure about Baines and Schneiderlin. It's almost like the team has been told to do the Ali 'Rope-a-Dope' trip (apologies to the FM generation - look it up on Google) in the first half and then start playing properly once they have worked out the opposition in the second half.
 
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