Wayne Rooney enjoyed a dream return to Premier League action for Everton with the only goal in a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Quiet for much of the opening 45 minutes, the homegrown hero exploded into life with a well-taken winner in first-half stoppage time.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin assisted Rooney's opener and twice went close after the restart but the solitary goal proved enough for Everton to kick-off their campaign with a win for the first time in five attempts.
Everton had earlier struggled for fluidity as Ronald Koeman fielded five new signings from the outset, with Jordan Pickford comfortable in claiming a clean sheet.
Stoke looked bright in patches but, with only five teams scoring fewer goals last season, their troubles in attack still appear to need solving.
Both teams began with three at the back and it was the away side who looked more incisive early, targeting the space in behind Everton's wing-backs.
Mame Biram Diouf forced Pickford to push a wayward cross around his near post while the hosts were restricted to shooting from range throughout the opening 25 minutes, midfielder Idrissa Gueye twice trying his luck to little effect.
Stoke, without an opening day win since 2009, looked the likelier of the two to score before the end of a cagey first-half until Rooney rose high and headed Calvert-Lewin's delivery back across Jack Butland to the delight of the home fans.
Everton turned up the pressure after the restart and only a brave Kurt Zouma block prevented Calvert-Lewin from doubling the lead prior to the hour.
Veteran midfielder Darren Fletcher soon fizzed a reminder of Stoke's threat past the post although moments of promise were far too fleeting for the visitors.
Shifted higher up the pitch at half-time, Calvert-Lewin looked far more dangerous and drew a sharp low save from Butland.
Mark Hughes introduced last season's top scorer Peter Crouch and new signing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting with around 20 minutes remaining but they struggled to create a clear opening in a repeat of last season's 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
Xherdan Shaqiri did find time to unleash one last-gasp shot that seemed destined to snatch Stoke a point but Pickford proved to be Everton's saviour, flying to his left to tip the goal-bound attempt wide and seal the points.
Key Opta stats:
- Wayne Rooney set a new Premier League record for the longest gap between two appearances for the same team (4837 days between Everton apps).
- Rooney also set a new Premier League record for the longest gap between goals for the same club (4869 days days between Everton goals).
- No player has scored more Premier League goals on the opening day than Wayne Rooney (8 - level with Alan Shearer & Frank Lampard).
- Rooney's goal was his 300th goal involvement in the Premier League (199 goals, 101 assists), only Alan Shearer (324) has more.
- Mark Hughes hasn't won any of his last seven opening day Premier League games (D2 L5) in charge of three different clubs in that time (Fulham, QPR and Stoke).
|Stoger´s small changes getting Dortmund back on track|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Alaves 0: Substitute Torres breaks LaLiga duck to net winner|
|City defeat a ´good experience´ for Tottenham - Pochettino|
|Fury takes pop at ´carthorse´ Joshua|
|Zidane dreaming of sextuple after Club World Cup success|
|Running man De Bruyne makes it easier to manage City - Guardiola|
|Ronaldo and Zidane hoping for Ballon d´Or winner to retire at Madrid|
|Championship Review: Teenage debutant Maja snaps Sunderland´s home drought|
|In-form Neymar is good for all who love football – Emery|
|Napoli´s record goalscorers - how Marek Hamsik compares to Diego Maradona|
|Leinster rally to beat Chiefs, Bath gain revenge over Toulon|
|De Bruyne eyes titles over unbeaten season|
|Ninja Turtles invade pitch during PSG clash|
|Muller, Heynckes buoyed by Bayern Munich´s edgy victory|
|I´m confident, but what does that mean? - Wenger gives cryptic answer on Ozil future|
|Real Madrid win five trophies in a calendar year for first time|
|It´s nice to know - Hamsik plays down matching Maradona´s Napoli record|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Hoffenheim 1: Pulisic late show extends perfect Stoger start|
|Manchester City 4 Tottenham 1: Silva-less City continue to set the gold standard|
|Hughes fumes at Lanzini ´dive´|
|Torino 1 Napoli 3: Historic Hamsik strike sends Sarri´s side top|
|Dyche credits Burnley´s resolve in battling Brighton draw|
|Conte refuses to discuss Chelsea interest in ´really good player´ Van Dijk|
|Real Madrid 1 Gremio 0: Ronaldo free-kick secures Club World Cup glory|
|Silva refuses to question Watford´s attitude amid dismal run|
|Wenger hails Ozil´s decisive ´gem´|
|City´s record run unfairly overshadowing Chelsea form - Conte|
|Murray ´normally very reliable´ from the spot - Hughton|
|Stoke City 0 West Ham 3: Returning Arnautovic has the last laugh|
|Rennes 1 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Two goals, two assists for Neymar|
|Hamsik matches Maradona´s all-time Napoli scoring record|
|Apologetic Spalletti had forgotten losing feeling at Inter|
|We stick to the plan – Valverde not risking Dembele before January|
|Watford 1 Huddersfield Town 4: Deeney sees red as Hornets´ slump continues|
|Chelsea 1 Southampton 0: Alonso extends Blues´ home run|
|Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0: Ozil stunner sees hosts edge back to winning ways|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Burnley 0: Murray pays the penalty for Seagulls|
|McGregor says MMA, not Pacquiao, is next on agenda|
|Stuttgart 0 Bayern Munich 1: Ulreich denies former club with last-gasp penalty save|
|Gattuso tries to shrug off Donnarumma, FFP controversies|
|Inter 1 Udinese 3: Leaders leave door open for Napoli as unbeaten run ends|
|Al Jazira 1 Pachuca 4: Jara & Sagal inspire Mexicans to Club World Cup third place|
|Benteke winning over Palace fans after penalty nightmare - Hodgson|
|Allegri defends ´extraordinary´ Dybala after Nedved criticism|
|I didn´t owe Palace team-mates, Benteke claims|
|Carmelo Anthony ready for MSG return, calls New York ´home´|
|Five (not altogether serious) ways for England to avoid Ashes whitewash|
|I´ve never considered leaving PSG, insists Draxler|
|Leicester City 0 Crystal Palace 3: Benteke, Eagles end drought|
|AC Milan´s Fassone requests UEFA help over FFP|
|AC Milan have ´no intention´ of selling Donnarumma|
|Bravo sees no way back into West Indies set-up|
|Reggie Bush ´done´ with NFL career|
|A-League Review: Jets keep up pressure, Wanderers get rare win|
|I´m just happy I have all my fingers - Kvitova reflects on rollercoaster 2017|
|Schalke send Coke on loan to Levante|
|Man Utd´s Matic refuses to concede in Premier League title race|
|Mourinho: I don´t like a circus when you win|
|Keita won´t arrive in January, says Klopp|
|Embiid gets last word after verbal altercation with Westbrook|
|Bring on the noise! Pochettino´s Spurs want to ´kill´ Man City|
|Beat Madrid and PSG can go all the way, Djorkaeff claims|
|Farbrace recognises England´s limitations amid Perth punishment|
|Marsh century leaves family with full hearts and fuller bladders|
|Icardi to Real Madrid? Nara will not say yes or no|
|The Ashes Round-up: Smith and Marsh torment England|
|Smith and Marsh gorge themselves as England put to the sword|
|Ronaldo proud to compete with Messi|
|Wenger struggling to solve Arsenal goal drought|
|Smith brings up double hundred as England toil|