Football Language: Heavy Defeat

In this football language post we look at the football expression ‘heavy defeat’ which is used when one team is beaten badly in a game.

In this football language post for learners of English we look at the football expression ‘heavy defeat‘ which is used when one team is beaten badly in a game. You can also read the transcript for this post below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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Football Language: Heavy defeat

Teams can lose in different ways – they might be unlucky and lose narrowly, for example by a late goal or they might be well beaten by a much stronger side and suffer a heavy defeat. When a team is beaten by many goals we can say that they have suffered a heavy defeat where the adjective ‘heavy’ adds emphasis to the word ‘defeat’ – they team may have lost by three, four, five or even six (or more) goals. We might also hear the words ‘thrashing‘ (e.g. the team were thrashed 5-0) or ‘trounced’ (the team were trounced 5-0). The idea that heavy is used with defeat suggests that the losing team didn’t really have much of a chance of winning or were outplayed by their opponents. This happened in a Premier League game this weekend when Brighton inflicted a heavy defeat on Leicester City. This heavy defeat for Leicester saw them stay bottom of the division – they are rooted to the bottom – and the manner of this defeat means that many of their fans fear they are going to be in a relegation battle this season.

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