Football Language Podcast: Bring Down an Opponent – WSL 2022 Liverpool v Chelsea

On this football language podcast for learners of English we look at the phrase ‘Bring down an opponent‘ which was used to describe the winning goal in the WSL opening match between Chelsea and Liverpool. You can read the transcript for this podcast 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

Football Language Podcast: Bring Down an Opponent – WSL 2022 Liverpool v Chelsea

DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to – the football-language podcast for learners of English who love the beautiful game of football. I’m Damian and I am one half of the Languagecaster team, Damon, the other team member, is of course based in Japan.

Now on today’s show we look at some language from a match from the Women’s Super League here in England – the WSL. We are going to look at some language that appeared in the Guardian newspaper about the Liverpool versus Chelsea match last weekend in which the home side shocked (or stunned) the champions Chelsea 2-1. All three goals in the game were scored from the penalty spot and we are going to look at the language used to describe how the final penalty was awarded.

Stinger: You are listening to (Al-Hilal (Sudan) fan)

Break down the right/Bring down an opponent/Sliding tackle

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Five minutes from time, Stengel broke down the right and into the area, pursued by Buchanan who brought her down with a sliding tackle to set up Stengel for her game-winning second penalty (
So, this rather long sentence describes the play that led to the winning penalty. We are going to look at some of the language from it. First of all phrase ‘to break down the right‘ which means that a player is attacking on the right hand side of the pitch. The verb ‘break’ suggests that it is a counter attack, that is, the team was defending but they won the ball and then quickly attacked their opponents; the player (Stengel) broke out of defence to set up an attack. So, she moved down the right wing and she was being chased or pursued by the Chelsea defender Buchanan who then brought her down. To bring down an opponent means that the opponent falls to the floor because they’ve been tackled hard or they have been fouled. So, the Chelsea defender brought down the Liverpool attacker and because she was brought down (we could also say taken down here) and she was brought down in the box or the penalty area then a penalty was given or awarded to Liverpool. The Chelsea player used a sliding tackle to bring down the Liverpool player and a sliding tackle is one where the defender tries to get the ball from the opponent by sliding on the ground (usually from the side). Of course, if a player goes to ground then they risk getting a yellow or red card or giving away a free-kick or penalty as they can mis-time the tackle. And this is what happened as the Chelsea defender went to ground with a sliding tackle and brought down the Liverpool player who then scored the winning goal from the spot.

Stinger: You are listening to (In Vietnamese)


Now, if you want to ask any football-language questions or simply say hello then you can do so by adding a comment on our site here or by using our forum. Now, we’ve recently had quite a few questions including the phrase ‘flying high‘ – talking about Manchester City which you can check out on the forum. You can also send us an email at and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Dutch).


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Dutch and we’d love to hear from anyone else who might like to share this message, ‘you are listening to‘ – it would be great to hear lots of different voices. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and there’s lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site. We think it’s a great resource for those learning and teaching the language.

OK, that’s it for this very short football-language podcast in which we looked at some language from the opening weekend of the WSL – the Women’s Super League – the game between Liverpool and Chelsea in which the newly-promoted side shocked Chelsea 2-1 thanks to a late penalty. We looked at the phrases: to break down the right (so, to attack quickly on the right); to bring down an opponent (to foul the opposition player) and a sliding tackle (so, going to ground to try and win the ball).

We’ll be back with some more football language very soon. It is an international break this week so we’ll be looking some of the Nations League games and other international matches to see the different kinds of football language. Enjoy all the football and we’ll talk to you again soon. Bye bye!

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