Weekly Football Phrase: To be held to a draw


Every week, languagecaster.com brings you words or phrases from the footballing news. Today we explain the phrase ‘to be held to a draw’. You can understand more about the word or phrase by reading the transcript below. You can also find many more examples by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

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Listen here: Held to a draw.mp3

This week’s football phrase is ‘to be held by‘, which uses the passive form of the verb ‘to hold‘ and which in football means to draw a game, i.e. 1-1 or 2-2. The phrase has a slight negative connotation as one of the teams in the game is expected to win but fails to do so. This could be because the team is heavily favoured before the game or that the team is winning in the match but then on both occasions fails to win – they draw the game. This draw often feels like a defeat – two points dropped rather than a point gained. In this week’s set of Champions League matches, Chelsea were held to a draw after going two goals up against Italian side Juventus – the 2-2 draw felt a little like a defeat. They were held to a draw by Juventus. To be held to a draw.


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