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Rooney notches lone strike in Everton return

Reuters

Everton’s Wayne Rooney, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring in Premier League action against Stoke on Saturday.

The Associated PressLIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney marked his first Premier League game back at boyhood club Everton by scoring in a 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday.

Rooney headed home a right-wing cross in first-half injury time to score 4,869 days after his last goal for Everton before joining Manchester United, where he became one of English soccer’s most decorated players.

“It was a special moment for me,” Rooney said. “There was a lot of relief and a lot of emotion came out in the celebration.

“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.”

It was the 31-year-old striker’s 199th Premier League goal.

Rooney had already played twice for Everton since his sentimental return to Goodison Park, but didn’t score in either of the Europa League qualifying matches.

If he was underwhelming in those games, he showed a massive improvement against Stoke, working hard in possession and out of it.

“There was one player in an Everton shirt today who from the first second to the last second was comfortable on the pitch,” Everton manager Ronald Koeman said.

“In difficult moments in the game he showed his experience. He was clever, he was comfortable on the ball. That was different to some other players. That’s why we signed Wayne, expecting to show his teammates all that experience, and it was really important.”

Chelsea stumbles to shock loss

The Associated Press

On and off the field, nothing is going right for Chelsea early in its English Premier League title defense.

Injuries to key players, frustration in the transfer market, and now a surprise 3-2 home loss on the opening weekend of the season to Burnley, a team that was expected to be among the candidates for relegation.

After a dream start to life at Chelsea, manager Antonio Conte already looks to have a tough job on his hands in his second season in English soccer.

“I am not worried,” Conte said. “I am ready to fight with these players.”

They’ll need to, with title favorite Manchester City’s expensively assembled team starting with a comfortable 2-0 win at Brighton.

Boos greeted both the halftime and fulltime whistle as Chelsea fans encountered the unusual feeling of a home loss under Conte, after 17 wins in 19 league games at Stamford Bridge last season. The jeers were likely directed at the match officials, with Chelsea having a player sent off in both halves.

Gary Cahill was shown a straight red card in the 14th minute for a studs-first lunge, and Burnley capitalized by scoring three times before halftime through Sam Vokes (twice) and Stephen Ward.Speech

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