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Football Language: To blow a lead

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This post explains the football term ‘to blow a lead’. Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

To blow a lead

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team. I hope we are all doing well and that we are safe wherever we are in the world. Now on this short football language podcast we take a look at the phrase ‘to blow a lead‘ which means to give up or lose a lead.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Thai).

DF: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in Thai. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast which you can access by coming along to our site. And you can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or you can drop us a line at: Right, let’s take a look at the phrase ‘to blow a lead‘.

Imagine that your team is playing very well in a match and is winning by two or more goals. Then suddenly the opposing team scores a goal and the dynamic of the game changes. Now your team are edgy or nervous and the opposition are full of confidence and then right at the end they equalise. How did that happen? Your team were much better for most of the game but they ended up blowing the lead – giving the lead away – they were winning by two goals but finished drawing 2-2 – they blew a two-goal lead. In fact there is a cliche in football about losing a two-goal lead – ‘2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline‘ – even though statistically this is not true! Anyway, much like the phrase ‘to blow a chance‘, which means to miss an easy chance, to blow a lead is to lose a lead in a game when your team really should not have done so.

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In the 2020-21 Premier League season, my favourite team Tottenham have managed to blow a lead in many matches, in fact they have dropped 15 points from winning positions which is the most of any club and many of these games were against teams in the lower third of the league. Here’s an example headline from CBS (Oct 18 2020): ‘Tottenham blow three-goal lead in final minutes vs. West Ham as Lanzini scores stunning equalizer‘.

Good Bye

DF: OK, that’s it for this short podcast and we hope you have enjoyed our look at the phrase ‘to blow a lead‘. Let us know if you hear any of the words and phrases from the show or maybe if you know how to say them in another language – drop us a line at: And we’ll have more football phrases to talk about in our next podcast. Enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.


Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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