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Season Review: August

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

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August began with the news Evertonians had been waiting for all summer long.
 
Having wowed the Goodison faithful during a four-month loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur at the end of 2011/12, Steven Pienaar's permanent return to Goodison Park was confirmed.
 
The South African penned a four-year deal on the first day of the month, allowing him to make his first pre-season run out at Blackpool the following weekend.
 
The game, a testimonial for former Everton Academy midfielder Keith Southern, was one to forget however as David Moyes' men slumped to a 2-0 defeat.
 
The mood was very much different at Goodison Park three days later as, after just 11 years and 308 first-team appearances, Tony Hibbert smashed his first Everton goal to produce the highlight of his own testimonial, a 4-1 defeat of Greek outfit AEK Athens.
 
It was no fluke or gift either, the right-back drilling home a low free-kick in front of the Gwladys Street as summer arrival Steven Naismith was outshone despite a hat-trick on his first Goodison outing.
 
The Blues then rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 defeat at would-be Champions League quarter-finalists Malaga.
 
There was another new face through the door before the proper action got underway as 20-goal forward Kevin Mirallas arrived from Olympiakos.
 
An international colleague of Marouane Fellaini, the Belgian would later reveal his good friend played a key role in persuading him to turn down other offers, notably one from Everton's Premier League rivals Arsenal.
 
It was the dethroned champions up first though as Manchester United travelled to the Blue half of Merseyside on a Monday night.
 
It proved to be one of the most enthralling encounters of the opening weekend as Fellaini battered and bullied Sir Alex Ferguson's side, notching the game's only goal with a towering header 11 minutes into the second half.
 
And the good start continued the following weekend as Moyes' men cruised to a 3-1 triumph at Aston Villa.
 
Pienaar grabbed the first goal of his fourth Everton spell with just two minutes on the clock, before another Fellaini goal and a clinical Nikica Jelavic finish had the points wrapped up by half-time.
 
August's fixtures concluded with the visit of League One Leyton Orient in the second round of the Capital One Cup, though any thoughts of an upset were quashed inside half an hour, Mirallas grabbing his first two goals for the Club either side of setting up another for Leon Osman.
 
Victor Anichebe added a fourth before the first half was out and it ended up 5-0 when Frenchman Magaye Gueye smashed in a volley midway through the second half.
 
And there was further good news just around the corner  – a deadline-day double swoop seeing Bryan Oviedo and Matthew Kennedy join the Club from FC Copenhagen and Kilmarnock respectively.

Watch all of Everton's August and September goals in the video above*.

* If you are using the Official Everton App, please navigate to the 'video' section.

>>> Pre-order the Everton End Of Season Review DVD now.

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