Everton manager Sam Allardyce has heaped praise on his side after they claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Goodison today. Gylfi Sigurdsson was afforded time in his natural position, Yannick Bolasie was restored to the side, and both Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines returned.
Rooney had the chance to make it 3-0 with an 88th-minute penalty, but Mathew Ryan saved the spot kick. In fact, they are unbeaten in seven games across all competitions.
Rooney was one of four changes for Everton from the defeat at Burnley last weekend and helped the hosts threaten early on.
The home side started slowly but improved and the visitors eventually lost their composure to the extent of going down to 10 men, but only after Everton had scored their two goals. He put the pressure on Bong who fired into the back of his own net.
The Toffees have secured 26 of their 34 points at home and while their record on the road - one Premier League win all season - has caused them problems, their manager is looking for a reaction from his players on a return to familiar surroundings. All Brighton's work counted for nothing when Cenk Tosun crashed in a shot off the underside of the bar 14 minutes from the end, just after Walcott had left the field with a muscle strain.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin earned a late penalty, which Wayne Rooney promptly had saved.
The seven points they have collected this year have come at home, and with Brighton in excellent touch in the build up to their visit to Merseyside, the advantage of playing in their own stadium may be pivotal for Everton.
Hughton, who has taken charge of 121 Premier League games across spells with Newcastle, Norwich City and Brighton, says the players, coaches and medical staff all deserve credit for the award.