Everton forward, Wayne Rooney says it was a “special moment” to score the winning goal on his top-flight return to Everton after 13 years and one he has been looking forward to for a long time.
The 31-year-old, who left the club for Manchester United in 2004, headed in his 199th Premier League goal as the Toffees beat Stoke 1-0 at Goodison Park.
Rooney said a lot of “relief and emotion” came out as he celebrated what proved to be the decider before half-time.
“On a personal note, I’m absolutely delighted to score the winning goal at Goodison Park,” he told BBC Sport.
“It was a special moment for me. There was a lot of relief and a lot of emotion. It was an important goal just before half-time.
“I’ve felt at home since I first stepped in the training ground. I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time.”
Rooney found space in the area to head a Dominic Calvert-Lewin cross past Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland in what was the Toffees’ best move of the match – one the former England captain was twice involved in before adding the finishing touch.
Calvert-Lewin also went close for the home side as Stoke struggled to break Everton down on the opening day.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s long-range effort did force new Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford into a fine save in stoppage-time, with the 23-year-old leaping across his line to tip wide.
Rooney scored the first of his Premier League goals for Everton with a sublime strike against Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2002.