Premier League - Leon Osman's wondergoal: genius or mis-kicked fluke?

Everton's Leon Osman scored one of the goals of the season in the 2-0 win over Manchester City at the weekend.

Eurosport
Premier League - Mirallas solo effort sinks Stoke
.

View photo

Everton's Leon Osman celebrates scoring their first goal of the game with team-mate Sylvain Distin (left) (PA Sport)

Or did he?

Our team of experts have been analysing Osman's strike - a 30-yard thunderbolt that rocketed into the top corner - and have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it was nothing more than a huge chunk of luck for the Everton star.

The midfielder was clearly going for goal, but he was just as clearly going for the right of the net and mistimed his swing at the ball. Fortunately for Everton, the ball connected with the outside of Osman's foot rather than the middle, rather fortunately spinning it into the top left corner.

Take a look at the video above, examine our evidence below, and have your say in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

- - - - -

Exhibit A - Osman's body shape and balance: Everything about this picture screams that Osman was shaping up to try and thunder the ball into the right corner. His balance, the swing of his leg, the position of his right foot.

View gallery

.

Exhibit B - Osman's path to goal: This still from further out shows that Osman had a clear path at the right half of the goal, with four players blocking any attempt on the left half of the goal. With Joe Hart placed centrally, going for the left corner would have been insane.

View gallery

.

Exhibit C - Osman's left foot: The angle of Osman's foot in this close-up shows that it is clearly angled off to the right. If he'd been trying to hit it off the outside of his boot, he'd surely have kept his foot straight to decrease his margin of error - particularly considering that he is predominantly right-footed. When you take into account that shots off the outside of the boot are incredibly tough even on your best foot, it seems inconceivable that Osman would have attempted such a thing from distance.

View gallery

.

Exhibit D - The initially muted celebration: Osman's initially cool celebration only turned into a full-on roar after he'd looked across to the bench - as caught in this still image - and realised that everybody thought he'd pulled off a miracle rather than a fluke.

View gallery

.

Exhibit E - He isn't Ronaldo or Messi: Let's face it, even the greatest players in the world would have been chuffed to bits to score with the outside of the boot from long range. No offence intended to Osman, who is a good pro. But he isn't a genius.

View gallery

.

View Comments