Ronald Koeman has heaped praise on Wayne Rooney after the boybood Blue completed a sensational second Premier League debut with a fairytale winner over Stoke City.
The veteran striker bagged the only goal of a 1-0 home victory on the opening day of the campaign - Rooney climbing high to head home Dominic Calvert-Lewin's teasing centre to spark pandemonium in the stands.
It was a strike written in the script for the returning Toffees after 13 years away and, speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Koeman explained how Rooney's influence permeated a tough encounter with the Potters.
He said: "There was one player in an Everton shirt today who was from the first second to the last comfortable on the pitch.
"He made every decision the right one and he scored a great goal from a great cross from Dominic. In difficult moments, he showed his experience.
"That is why we signed Wayne, expecting to show his team-mates all that experience and it was really important."
The Dutchman also admitted that his side were a tad fortunate to secure all three points at Goodison Park, given how well Stoke played in the first half.
Jordan Pickford produced a stunning sprawling save on his own league bow for the Blues to deny Xherdan Shaqiri ruining Rooney's perfect day, and Koeman told Everton's official site that he was glad to chalk up a win in the first league match of this term.
He added: “Three points is what you want to start the season, especially at home. We had to work hard for the win and for the clean sheet.
"The defensive organisation in the second half after changing the system was much better. There was much more control and we scored a great goal but the team looked a bit nervous in the first half. That makes it difficult.
“Jordan has produced a fantastic save at the end. He is a young goalkeeper but he was very important today, dominating his area and pulling off a great save. You need to defend well but with that you need a good goalkeeper.
“We know Stoke and we got what we expected – a tough game. But we got the three points and that is really important.”