This post’s English for football phrase is the term to ‘Flatter to Deceive’.
To flatter someone is to tell them they are doing well when in fact they are not doing that well. You give too much praise. To deceive is to lie to someone or to trick them. These words put together into this phrase, to flatter to deceive, mean to make people think something good will happen but in the end the result is bad. So, in football if a team flatters to deceive it means that it looks like they are playing well and it looks like they will win – they flatter the fans – but in the end they do poorly or the good result doesn’t happen – the fans are deceived.
Example: ‘However, as has been typical of Liverpool of late, The Reds once again flattered to deceive (They lost 2-0 to Leicester after a dominant first half).‘ (The Anfield Wrap).