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Moyes praise for ´matchwinner´ Osman

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Apr 2011

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David Moyes believes Leon Osman deserves to be ‘bigged up’ after the midfielder played a starring role in Everton’s 2-0 win over Blackburn.

Everton heaped more misery on woefully out-of-form Blackburn, with Osman opening the scoring in the 54th minute and a Leighton Baines penalty sealing the result 21 minutes later.

It is Osman’s third goal in six league games, and the 29-year-old came in for praise from manager Moyes after the final whistle.

“In Leon Osman we had someone who was a matchwinner by a long way,” Moyes told ESPNsoccernet.

“He deserves to be ‘bigged up’, if you want to say that. He has had to take on the mantle since we lost Steven Pienaar (to Tottenham) and with Mikel Arteta out.”

“We have not got a great deal of creativity or that style of player at the moment. I thought Osman, when he got it, made things happen and scored a really important goal for us. That got us on our way.”

Blackburn’s loss – their ninth game in all competitions without a win – leaves them perched precariously close to the relegation zone, with just two points separating them and 18th-placed Blackpool.

But boss Steve Kean remained positive after the game, saying the encounter could have gone differently had his side capitalised on their advantage in the first half.

“I don’t think it was a worrying performance. The overall performance was of two totally different halves. We were by far the better in the first and they were the better in the second,” he said.

“I think whoever was going to get the first goal today was always going to be in the box seat. That fell to Everton today and that was disappointing.”

“We felt because Everton were defending quite high there was lots of space behind Leighton Baines and Tony Hibbert. We felt we could exploit that – play the ball back into midfield and then quickly get beyond them and play a penetrating pass. But then obviously when the goal went in (and) that changes the outlook of the game.”

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