Languagecaster Listening Report: 2013 Champions League Semi-finals

main report

This week’s main report we look back at the 2013 Champions League semi-final first leg matches that saw the two German sides, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund come out on top against the best of Spain. We also ask whether they can hang on to make it to the final at Wembley in May? You can hear more examples of the language of predictions here. Listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the report.

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The 2013 champions league semi-finals

Bayern Munich vs Barcelona

While many thought Bayern could beat Barcelona few would have predicted the thrashing that the Bavarian side meted out to the Catalans in the first leg of their 2013 Champions League semi-final. It finished 4-0 with Bayern dominating from start to finish as their physical style, speed and tactics overpowered a hapless Barcelona side that though missing three centre halves and including a clearly unfit Lionel Messi were totally outplayed. After the game, the football media speculated on whether we are witnessing the end of Barcelona and a changing of the guard in European football. It is too early to say especially as the second leg is still to come – Barcelona are not out yet. No team, however, has ever come back from a four-goal deficit in the knock-out stages of the Champions League though it should be remembered that this Barcelona team beat AC Milan 4-0 to overturn a two-goal deficit in an earlier round. It is possible but very, very unlikely.

Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

This sense that a shift in power from Spain to Germany was taking place in European football was further illustrated by Dortmund’s hammering of Real Madrid. Madrid had been beaten by the German side in the group stages but it was viewed by many that they were a much better side than back then and would progress to the final. Their coach Jose Mourinho had them focused on winning the club’s tenth European Cup/Champions League title but despite scoring a precious away goal, like Barcelona the previous night, they were blown away by German pace, power and clinical finishing. Dortmund have lit up the Champions League this season and many would love to see them in the final though there is still a nagging doubt about whether their inexperience will count against them in the second leg in Madrid. Real have overcome a three-goal deficit before and if they score an early goal then who knows they could prevent an all-German final taking place at Wembley in May.

Vocabulary support

meted out: handed out; given a thrashing

a hapless Barcelona side: A poor Barcelona side

a changing of the guard: When one period of dominance is over and maybe substituted by another

a four-goal deficit: Lost by four goals; to be beaten by four goals

was further illustrated: Exemplified; shown to be true

hammering: A thrashing; a heavy defeat

clinical finishing: Expert shooting

have lit up: Fans have loved watching them play in this season’s Champions League

a nagging doubt: People are still a little worried

Check out more football language in our football glossary

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

2012-13Episode 176