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Football Language Podcast: April 2020 – Hard-Fought Win

April 2020English Through Football Podcast: April 2020 – Hard-Fought Win: On this week’s podcast, we take a look back at a Liverpool match. Liverpool are the team that one of your hosts, Damon, supports. We discuss why it was a key match this season for Liverpool and also talk about some of the football language connected to it. There is, of course, a transcript, and we also have a listening quiz – great for teachers and students of English. You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the file below – you can also subscribe and listen to all our football-language podcasts – there are hundreds! You can improve your English by reading as you listen, or if you are a teacher of English you can use the transcript to make several listening and/or reading activities for your learners. If you have questions or comments, email us at: (Damian=DF Damon=DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: April 2020 – Hard-Fought Wins


Football Language Podcast: April 2020
Recording the podcast

DB: Hi there listeners and welcome to the Learn English Through Football Podcast. As always, we hope that you are all well and safe wherever you are listening to us in these difficult times. My name is Damon, and I’m based in Tokyo, and at languagecaster, we’ve been posting about football language, revisiting great World Cup games, testing your knowledge of the World Cups, and generally still talking about the beautiful game of football. Now, this podcast is a little different to our usual format – because the times are a little unusual with the COVID-19 crisis around the world. We will be looking at a Liverpool match from the suspended season and talking about some of the football language connected to it. It gives me a chance, as a Liverpool fan, to remember how well my team was doing too!

Stinger: You are listening to (In Japanese)

DF: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in Japanese. Hello everyone, hope we are all doing well. This is Damian in London. By the way, Damon, how is your Japanese?

DB: Hmm.. not as good as it should be. Maybe I should watch more football games in Japanese to get some practice!

2019-20 Season: Liverpool – Key Match – a Hard Fought Win

DF: Good idea. OK, now you said we were going to look at a key match from Liverpool’s season, that’s the 2019-20 season of course. Which one did you pick?

DB: Well, I picked Liverpool’s visit to Aston Villa in early November 2019.

DF: Oh, I remember that one! So, you said ‘Liverpool’s visit’, so they were playing away.

DB: That’s right. They were away to Aston Villa. And Villa were playing at home or we could say ‘playing on home turf.’

DF: Right. Now, why did you pick this game?

DB: Well, I picked this game because it was a hard-fought win, which I think kept Liverpool’s momentum in the league and also showed they had the ability to grind out a result.

DF: So, you’ve mentioned two phrases there: a ‘hard fought win’ and grind out a win – both of these mean that Liverpool had to work really hard to get the three points. The win was not an easy win at all.

DB: Exactly. In the game, Liverpool went behind early on to a Trézéguet side foot and the Aston Villa fans really got behind their team. Villa players looked sharper and Liverpool struggled to create chances. In fact, Salah, their top goal scorer was taken off in the second half. Anyway, Villa were stubborn in defense. Liverpool also didn’t have the rub-of the green as three VAR decisions went Aston Villa’s way. Their goal was rightly given. Liverpool had one chalked off, or disallowed, and Mané was booked for a dive instead of getting a penalty.

DF: You mentioned that Villa were stubborn. You mean hard to break down; it was difficult for the attack to get past the defense, right?

DB: Yes. I was thinking Liverpool were heading for a first defeat of the season but they drew level with an Andy Robertson header in the 87th minute – drew level means equalised – then, unbelievable they snatched three points with a last gasp winner.

DF: So they scored right at the death, at the end of the match. We posted about this phrase last gasp winner a few weeks ago. You also said ‘snatched three points‘ – ha, that’s a great phrase, isn’t it!

DB: It is if your team snatches the three points. To snatch means to grab or even to steal, so the feeling is the team has stolen the three points. I think it would be harsh to say Liverpool stole the win, or didn’t deserve it. They attacked in a calm and deliberate way right up until the end. As I said, I think it showed Liverpool were a team this season that could win even against a stubborn opponent, one that is hard to break down.

DF: Yes, Liverpool have certainly been relentless this season and were winning in a more controlled way. A lot of 2-1, 1-0 wins rather than 3-0 or 4-0.

DB: Yep. Anyway, that’s one of my key matches from Liverpool’s season and to talk about it we used the following phrases:

Good Bye

DF: Yes, that’s a great list. I’ll have to think about a game that has been important in Tottenham’s season next – it’s going to be difficult. But for now, that’s it from us. But before we go, remember to come along to the site where you can get the transcript for this show and follow the links to all our explanations of the football phrases we mentioned, and of coutse there are hundreds more in our glossary.


patreon DB: Yes, and if you like what we do, and want access to more materials, then pop along to and leave a small donation or join as a supporter. For this post, we’ll have a listening quiz coming soon!

DF: Now, before we go, don’t forget that you can contact us here at languagecaster via our various social media platforms: that’s Facebook’s Learning English Through Football – we’d like to say hello to all those doing the quizzes on there; Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, where you can find information about lots of latest posts including explanations of the phrases ‘pick the ball out of the net‘ and the verb ‘to oust‘, which we featured this week on our site. We’ve also added more quizzes in our World Cup reviews. Come along to our forums and ask a question on our forums or simply drop us a line and say hello at Take care everyone – stay safe and we’ll see you soon. Bye bye.

DB: Ta-ra!

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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