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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Leon Osman reckons his wonderstrike against Manchester City may just be up there with his very best.

The midfielder also hopes Saturday's expert defeat of Roberto Mancini's champions can be the springboard to propel the Toffees back into Europe.

Following last weekend's painful FA Cup defeat against Wigan, Everton know they must now finish fifth in the Barclays Premier League table to secure a much-desired return to continental competition.

But after helping his side return to their very best at Goodison Park on Saturday, Osman declared the Blues remain a match for any of their rivals.

Asked if the goal which teed up the morale-boosting 2-0 win was his finest yet, the beaming 31-year-old said: "Joe [Hart] is a fantastic keeper and to beat him from that range, I can't ask for more. I'm delighted.

"Maybe it bobbled a little bit as I hit it but it went in the back of the net and it gave us the goal we needed to go on and win the match.

"It was terribly disappointing last week, for ourselves, for the fans, and we had it tough for a few days. But the only way we could put it behind us was by coming out on the pitch today and getting a good result and putting on the performance we did.

"I think [the hurt] was plain for everyone to see. We didn't turn up last week and we weren't at the races. But we showed when we are at the races, like today, we're a match for any team.

"It's what we've got to concentrate on now, the league and getting as high as we can. I think we showed today it's important to us and we want to win all our remaining games."

Osman will now go away with England for vital World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro before Everton's next outing against Stoke on 30 March.

The Blues then travel to Tottenham on 7 April, with tricky away fixtures at Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea also to come before the end of the campaign.

And Osman added: "We've just got to keep our heads down and keep trying to churn out results like the one today.

"It's going to be tough because we've got some big games coming up, especially away from home against most of the teams above us.

"So it's going to be tough but if we can play like we did against Manchester City, wins are possible."

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