Wayne Rooney scored his first Everton hat-trick to seal a crushing 4-0 win over West Ham, with new manager Sam Allardyce a delighted Goodison Park spectator.
David Moyes could only watch on aghast as his side were put to the sword by his old club, who have beaten Moyes teams at an aggregate tune of 12-0 since the Scot’s departure for Manchester united in 2013.
Rooney was recalled to the side as David Unsworth took charge of the senior side for the final time in his caretaker stint and the former England skipper responded with two goals in the first half, opening the scoring on the rebound from his own penalty after Joe Hart had pulled down Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The Everton captain then slotted home his second of the evening just before the half-hour mark, capitalising on some poor defending and sweeping home from inside the box.
West Ham improved after the break but Jordan Pickford saved a Manuel Lanzini penalty before Rooney drilled home his third from inside his own half and Ashley Williams headed home a late fourth.
Moyes has his work cut out to kick-start the Hammers’ campaign, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal their next three opponents.
Both teams went into the game in need of a win but it was Everton who struck the first blow, going ahead after 17 minutes.
Calvert-Lewin was sent clean through on goal but was brought down by Hart with referee Michael Oliver pointing straight to the spot.
Up stepped Rooney and, although a diving Hart managed to parry his kick, the ball rebounded kindly for the striker to head into an unguarded net.
Everton then doubled their lead after some poor defending from the visitors which will have frustrated Moyes.
Tom Davies was allowed to charge into the danger area unmarked before sending in a cross which managed to get all the way to Rooney, alone in the middle of the box, and he swept past Hart.
Moyes made a change at the break sending on Diafra Sakho for Pedro Obiang and West Ham were initially much-improved and went close to pulling a goal back.
Lanzini cut in from the left and stung Pickford’s palms with a decent effort before Aaron Cresswell unleashed a fierce shot which beat the Everton goalkeeper but just clipped the crossbar.
West Ham continued to press and with almost an hour gone, were handed a lifeline after Williams chopped down Sakho in the area.
Lanzini took the spot-kick and fired low to Pickford’s right but the goalkeeper made a fabulous save to push the ball clear and preserve his side’s two-goal lead.
Rooney then made West Ham pay with a brilliant third goal to seal his hat-trick. A clearance from Hart fell to the skipper just inside his own half and he met the ball first time, drilling it over the goalkeeper and in.
There was still time for more drama, Williams heading a corner past Hart to seal a fine outing for the Toffees and a much-needed three points.
KEY OPTA STATS
– Wayne Rooney’s hat-trick tonight came 2272 days since his last (10th September 2011) – the longest gap between two hat-tricks by a player in Premier League history.
– Rooney’s hat-trick goal was from 58 yards out – the furthest out that a Premier League goal has been scored since April 4th 2015 (Charlie Adam for Stoke at Chelsea).
– Wayne Rooney has now scored 14 Premier League goals against West Ham United; more than any other player.
– Wayne Rooney has scored more goals in his 12 Premier League games for Everton this season (7) than he did in his 25 league appearances for Manchester United last season.
– Wayne Rooney has now missed nine penalties in the Premier League; only Teddy Sheringham (10) & Alan Shearer (11) have missed more.
– This was the first Premier League game to see both sides miss a penalty since October 18th 2014 (Manchester City v Tottenham).