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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence