LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Wayne Rooney had one penalty saved and scored another in Everton’s 3-1 win over last-place Swansea in the Premier League that maintained the team’s resurgent form under recently hired manager Sam Allardyce on Monday.
Everton has won four out of five games since Allardyce was appointed as the full-time replacement for Ronald Koeman at the end of last month, and Rooney has scored in three of them to take his tally for the season to 10 goals.
After Leroy Fer gave Swansea the lead in the 35th minute, Rooney squandered a chance to equalize when his penalty was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in first-half injury time. The ball bounced out for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to convert the rebound.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, who joined Everton from Swansea for a reported 45 million pounds ($58 million) in the offseason, put the hosts 2-1 ahead with a curling shot from outside the area in the 64th.
Rooney made the game safe for Everton by slamming home his second penalty of the night in the 73rd, with Fabianski getting fingertips to the ball but not keeping it out this time.
“I was never going to give that penalty up,” Rooney said. “Frustrating missing the first one, so I put my foot through it.”
While Swansea remained four points from safety after 18 games, keeping manager Paul Clement under pressure for his job, Everton rose to ninth place and has some momentum for the first time this season. The team is unbeaten in its last five league matches.
“I thought tonight we were sloppy at times,” Rooney said, “… but we showed great character to come from a goal down.
“Four weeks ago, we would have lost that game.”
Allardyce has shored up the defense and is also getting more out of Rooney, who has already doubled the number of goals he managed last season - his final one at Manchester United.
“Top half, I think,” Allardyce said, when asked what his aims were for the rest of the season. “Let’s not get too carried away. Delivering 13 points from a possible 15 is an outstanding feat from where we came from.”
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