The Bubblegum Kid strikes again

Everton's blue-eyed boy answers the critics of his demeanour at TV award ceremony with a spectacular goal to chew over

After the outbursts of indignation at his loose-tied mastication on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, Wayne Rooney blew his own trumpet yesterday the way he does best, setting up Everton's first goal and scoring their winner in a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

The only ties and awards that interest the Everton faithful are the contractual kind that will keep The Kid from Croxteth buying his gum in the Goodison Park area for as long as possible. The Young Sports Personality of the Year seems to be boxing clever, pushing his value to David Moyes' side and thus his negotiating strength ever higher. After three successive setbacks in cup and League, Moyes gave Rooney a starting role for the first time in the Premiership since his 17th birthday. He was amply rewarded.

The Kid crashed a first-time shot against the post after 12 minutes to leave Lee Carsley with a tap-in equaliser to Andy Cole's opener for Rovers, but his best was yet to come. Goalkeeper Richard Wright punted a long clearance downfield, and Rooney flicked the ball beyond the defensive cover before unleashing a superb right-foot shot past Brad Friedel.

Moyes was in man management mode afterwards, drawing parallels between his side and that BBC event in which Paula Radcliffe was the real star. "It's not the Wayne Rooney show, but we're aware of how important he is to us," the Everton manager said. "He's got all the attributes, but more importantly he's got football intelligence." It oozes through his tie-ups.

If the Blues in the North-west had something to purr about, those from west London could manage only a deep sigh after being held to a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough that prevented them going to the top of the Premiership. Chelsea claimed a point thanks to John Terry's close-range equaliser after falling behind to Géremi's 32nd-minute free-kick. That put them third, one point behind the leaders Arsenal, who face a little local difficulty at Tottenham today, and Manchester United, who secured a predictable 3-0 home victory over West Ham.

Fortune continues to hide from the Hammers. There was little they could do at Old Trafford against a United side who look back to their rampant best thanks in no small part to the revival in Juan Sebastian Veron's form. He scored with a Beckhamesque free-kick after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's opener to put United two-up in the first 15 minutes. Their victory was completed when Sébastian Schemmel turned a cross into his own net.

Never mind "Bubbles", what West Ham wouldn't give for the Bubblegum Kid.

News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links