PREMIER LEAGUE AUGUST 12, 2017: EVERTON 1 STOKE CITY 0
Wayne Rooney's header of the stroke of half time proved enough for the Toffees to take the three points.
Xherdan Shaqiri almost levelled in added time but his rasping effort was brilliantly turned away by Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.
The Potters started the brighter of the two sides, dominating possession early on, and they could well have taken the lead when Mame Diouf's cross was acrobatically turned away by Pickford.
Everton threatened a breakthrough of their own when Idrissa Gana Gueye twice fired wide when well placed but City continued to dominate the ball.
However, it was the hosts who grabbed the only goal of the game just before the break. Dominic Calvert-Lewin crossed well to find Rooney completely unmarked, and the returning forward found the net, leaving the Potters disappointed to be behind at the break.
Mark Hughes' side began the second half in similar fashion, dominating possession, but failing to create any real chances.
The visitors did almost grab the equaliser they deserved when Erik Pieters put a brilliant ball into the Everton box, but Saido Berahino just couldn't get on the end of it.
Darren Fletcher was next to try his luck, but his vicious effort wasn't far away from giving City a point.
There was further danger with time running out, when Kurt Zouma was caught in possession by Calvert-Lewin. The youngster did well to make some space, before Butland parried away his effort.
The best chance for City to take home a point came in added time when Shaqiri let fly from fully 25 yards, but Pickford did superbly to keep the ball out of the top corner of the net.
A disappointing day for Hughes' men, but a performance to take forward to next week's visit of Arsenal.