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Learn English through Football Podcast: 2017 FA Cup 3rd Round

It’s FA Cup 3rd round weekend and so on this week’s show we will be taking a look at some of the big games. Maybe there will be a cup shock as a minnow defeats a favourite as form goes out the window? On this week’s show we feature three of the games from the FA Cup – Chelsea v Peterborough, Tottenham v Aston Villa, and Liverpool v Plymouth, while we also introduce an English for football phrase ‘scorpion kick’. You can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English through Football Podcast: 2017 FA Cup 3rd Round

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Transcript of the show

DF: You’re listening to languagecaster’s football language podcast. Hello everyone and a happy New Year to you all wherever you may be. My name is Damian and I am based here in a wet and rather miserable London while of course Damon is over in Japan in Tokyo. Now Damon, unfortunately, is not with us this weekend but he’ll be back for next week’s show. Maybe he is still recovering from all the football over the festive season!

There is no Premier League football this weekend as the FA Cup takes centre stage in England with teams from the top two divisions joining 24 other teams from the lower two leagues, as well as some non-league sides. Football fans will no doubt hear phrases such as David and Goliath tie, giant killing, minnows, form going out the window and of course the romance of the cup over the weekend. So, the main focus of this week’s show will be the FA Cup 3rd round.

Line up

DB:  Now on this week’s podcast we have our regular look back at the football news in the good, the bad and the ugly and this week we feature stories from the FA Cup as some of the games have already finished. After that, we take a look at the football expression ‘scorpion kick‘ and then we will have our regular weekly quiz question, answer some of your football-language questions and look ahead to some of the cup games taking place tomorrow Sunday. 

DF: OK, let’s kick off with some of the good news from the world of football.


DF: It has been a good FA Cup weekend for the two Manchester clubs as City thrashed West Ham 5-0 on Friday night – a game I went to see at the London Stadium – while Manchester United eased into the 4th round after beating Championship side Reading 4-0. Their captain Wayne Rooney scored his 249th goal in 543 games for United which equalled the club record set by Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton. So, well done Wayne Rooney.


West Ham v Man City FA Cup 3rd round

DF: It was a bad night for the Hammers as they were thrashed, trounced and yes, hammered by a resurgent Manchester City 5-0 for whom David Silva was wonderful. It could have been a lot worse for the home side as City eased off towards the end but the West Ham fans were not happy with the result, the manager or the performance. A bad night for the London club.


DF: Nothing too controversial but the all-Premier League tie in the FA Cup third round between Sunderland and Burnley finished 0-0 in front of only 18.000 fans and was described by the BBC as being ‘dire‘ which of course means it was a terrible match.

DF: Yes, you are listening to That was in Italian and if you’d like to record your own version of the message, ‘You are listening to’ in another language then you can send it on to us by emailing here at

Follow us

DF: You can also follow us on Instagram – and this week we have photos from my visit to the London Stadium to see the West Ham – Man City FA Cup game and Damon’s end of year celebrations with his Tokyo football team. We are also on Facebook  – our page is Learn English Through Football and on twitter – our handle is @languagecaster. Thank you to all those who have done so in the past few days including Lakhan, Wojciech, Omer and Otmane on Facebook and Laura, Jose and Nick who were among those who retweeted or liked our posts on Twitter.

Remember if you’d like to ask a question or simply want to get in contact with us then you can do so by coming along to our site at or email us at

Quiz question

DF: OK, it’s time for our weekly quiz question and this week our question is all about the FA Cup. We want to know can you name the four semi-finalists from last year’s FA Cup? So, we want the four teams who played in the semi-finals in the 2016 FA Cup. We’ll have the answer at the end of the show.

Next up we explain some football language that has emerged from the week.

Football Language: Scorpion Kick

Now the first piece of language is the scorpion kick and this phrase has been in the news recently as two different players scored goals using this football move. Now you probably know that a scorpion is from the same family as a spider (that’s an arachnid) and attacks its prey by using a sting in its tail. A scorpion kick is a type of backward or reverse bicycle kick or scissors kick. To volley the ball in football is a very difficult skill as a player needs to have good technique and ability to strike or hit the ball when it is in the air. In football if a player manages to volley the ball when the ball is behind him or her some people call this a scorpion kick – the player ‘dives forward’ in the air and raises his feet behind him/her to volley the ball. There is a little bit of luck involved with this movement as the player is unable to see the ball but instead hopes that his/her technique will guide the ball in roughly or approximately the right direction.

Perhaps the most famous example of this kind of scorpion kick can be seen in the game between England and Colombia in 1995 when then Colombian keeper René Higuita produced this movement. Now, there are variations of this type of volley, for instance, only one foot might be used rather than two or maybe the player flicks the ball to try to give it more direction but these are still seen as types of scorpion kick. These type of plays are rare in football and when players use them to score this is even rarer. However, in the past month two players in the Premier League have scored using this technique: Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Manchester United against Sunderland and then Olivier Giroud for Arsenal versus Crystal Palace – maybe more players will try this technique in 2017!


DF: OK, now normally we have our predictions competition but as there are no Premier League games this weekend we will take a quick look at three games from this season’s FA Cup competition, including games involving Damon’s team Liverpool, my favourite side Tottenham and a possible cup upset involving Chelsea.

Chelsea v Peterborough

DF: The first of our games from the FA Cup 3rd round features Premier league leaders Chelsea who host League 1 side Peterborough – that means they are in the third tier of English football. It should be an easy win for the home side – I am going for 4-0, while Damon thinks it will finish 3-0 to Chelsea.

Tottenham v Aston Villa

DF: Next up sees Spurs take on Championship side Aston Villa. It should be fairly straightforward for the London club but the fact they will make a lot of changes for this game and that Villa have hit form in recent weeks under new manager Steve Bruce means it might be a tricky day for Tottenham. Maybe 2-1 to Spurs. Damon thinks it will be 2-0.

Liverpool v Plymouth

DF: Now Damon also thinks his side Liverpool will win 2-0 in their 3rd round cup tie. The Reds take on League 2 side Plymouth Argyle at home so it should be fairly easy… maybe… 4-0.

Remember, in order to play in our regular predictions competition just come along to the site, click on Predictions Competition at the top of the site and then register or login to add your predictions in our January competition.

Quiz Answer

DF: Just before we go here is the answer to our quiz question. We asked you to name the four semi-finalists from last year’s FA Cup. Manchester United (the eventual winners) beat Everton 2-1 in one semi-final, while the runners-up Crystal Palace defeated Watford in the other semi-final. Well done if you got those four teams: Manchester United, Everton, Crystal Palace and Watford and we’ll have another question next week.

Good bye

DF: That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to input your predictions during the week for our January competition and we’ll be back again next week with Damon to look at some of the big games taking place including Manchester United versus his favourite team Liverpool. Bye bye.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here.
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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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