Wayne Rooney marks Everton return with winner against Stoke

West Brom see off Bournemouth, Southampton and Swansea draw a blank

Everton 1 Stoke City 0

Wayne Rooney's first goal back in blue inspired boyhood club Everton to a narrow 1-0 opening-weekend victory against Stoke. After 13 record-breaking years at Manchester United, the 31-year-old made the ideal mark on his Premier League homecoming.

Rooney’s header late in the first half - his first competitive goal for the club in 4,869 days - broke the deadlock and set Ronald Koeman’s Everton on course for the win at Goodison Park. The forward’s name was cheered the loudest before a surprisingly lethargic first half got under way, with a lacklustre opening period eventually sparking into life in stoppage time.

Fine build-up play resulted in Dominic Calvert-Lewin swinging in a cross that Rooney nodded past Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland, sending the blue hordes wild on Merseyside.

Everton improved after the break but issues with fluidity and cohesion remained for Koeman's new-look side, with Jordan Pickford forced into an outstanding save to deny Xherdan Shaqiri a last-gasp Stoke equaliser.

West Bromwich Albion 1 Bournemouth 0

Tony Pulis celebrated signing an extended contract in the best possible fashion as West Brom began the new Premier League campaign with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

Pulis, who will now remain as Baggies boss until 2019 after putting pen to paper on a new deal on Friday, saw new signing Ahmed Hegazi head the only goal of the game in what was an impressive introduction to English football for the central defender.

Another summer arrival, Jay Rodriguez, also made a strong first impression on his debut, particularly early on. The £12million summer signing from Southampton, beset by injury issues in recent seasons, looked fit and mobile and had a handful of attempts inside the first 25 minutes.

Despite their dominance, the hosts looked a little vulnerable to the counter attack and the pace of Josh King and Benik Afobe almost caught them out on a couple of occasions.

West Brom deservedly took the lead after 31 minutes. Rodriguez had looked the most likely to open the scoring but it was another debutant who did so.

After King fouled Allan Nyom out on the right, Chris Brunt delivered a free-kick to the far post and Hegazi's downward header from three yards out found the net.

Southampton 0 Swansea City 0

Southampton’s goal drought at St Mary’s stretched to 545 minutes as they laboured to a frustrating Premier League stalemate against Swansea. The Saints wasted a host of chances to open their new campaign with a galling 0-0 draw against the insipid and limited visitors.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s side dominated virtually from start to finish, but lacked the killer instinct needed to clinch the three points. Southampton have still not scored at home since the 3-1 league win over Crystal Palace on April 5.

So despite a new manager, a fresh influx of players and a new season, this was the same profligate Saints. Nathan Redmond and Ryan Bertrand combined to lay on scores of openings for their team-mates, but James Ward-Prowse, Manolo Gabbiadini and Dusan Tadic were all found wanting in front of goal.

Frenchman Claude Puel paid with his job in the summer for Saints' inability to link midfield and attack and convert chances last term. New boss Pellegrino already appears to have generated more impetus than Puel managed, but the south-coast side were still left to rue opportunities missed.

Swansea missed wantaway midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson far more than Saints needed the absent Virgil van Dijk, the Dutch defender who also craves a transfer. Southampton threw everything at Swansea and should have held a comfortable lead at the break.

Despite that dominance, however, the hosts were unable to break the deadlock.

Swansea started the brighter after the break, Abraham conjuring space well only to see his effort blocked. Tadic then scooped over the bar from 16 yards in yet another example of poor finishing letting down tidy approach play from Saints. And when Austin fired wide in time added on, Southampton knew their day would end in frustration.

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