MX23RW : Saturday, September 22 17:47:04
Oct 19, 2002 at 3pm UK at ​Goodison Park
Everton
2-1
Arsenal
Radzinski (22'), Rooney (90')
Weir (39'), Pembridge (45'), Linderoth (89')
FT(HT: 1-1)

On this day: Wayne Rooney's career takes off

OTD: Rooney's career takes off
© PA Photos
Twelve years ago today, now-Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney scores his first Premier League goal in an Everton shirt to end Arsenal's unbeaten run at Goodison Park.

At the age of 16, a number of options open up. You can drink beer, cider and wine as part of a meal in a restaurant, join the armed forces and buy a lottery ticket, among other things.

Wayne Rooney, though, took things to a whole new level just five days shy of his 17th birthday, 12 years ago today.

Arsenal arrived at Goodison Park having gone unbeaten in their previous 30 Premier League matches and were to extend that run against Everton.

So, when Freddie Ljungberg put the visitors in front with seven minutes played, the contest was very much going with the script.

However, Everton striker Tomasz Radzinski reacted quickest to Lee Carsley's effort striking the post in the 21st minute to level the score at one goal apiece.

Both teams had chances throughout the remainder of the game to earn all three points, but it seemed that their efforts were going to go unrewarded.

That was until Rooney stepped off the bench in the 80th minute, and he went on to announce himself on the Premier League stage with 28 seconds left to play.

The teenager, who at this stage was on £80-a-week wages, controlled a high ball, spun on the spot, ran a few more steps forward and then, from 25 yards out, unleashed a powerful effort that arced over David Seaman and flew into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

It was his first goal in the Premier League and from that moment onwards, the now-Manchester United captain has never been far away from the headlines.

Speaking after the match, beaten manager Arsene Wenger said of Rooney: "He's supposed to be 16. [Michael] Owen's a complete striker but I didn't see him play at 16. At that age, Rooney is already a complete footballer.

"The guy can play. He's the best English Under-20 I've seen since I came here. He can play people in, he's clever and a natural, built like a [Paul] Gascoigne with his low centre of gravity. And he can dribble. I like strikers who can dribble."

Meanwhile, Everton boss David Moyes added: "Wayne's an Evertonian through and through and will probably be out with his pals this evening showing them how he scored the winner. There are special players. He can become one of them."

Everton: Wright; Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Unsworth; Carsley [Stubbs], Gravesen, Li [Linderoth], Pembridge; Radzinski [Rooney], Campbell

Arsenal: Seaman; Lauren, Campbell, Cygan, Cole; Ljungberg [Edu], Silva, Vieira, Toure [Wiltord], Henry, Kanu [Jeffers]

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Man United's Ruud Van Nistelrooy celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Everton during their Premier League match on February 7, 2004
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