Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2018 FA Cup 5th Round

FA Cup 5th RoundOn this week’ s Learn English Through Football Podcast we look back at some of the Champions League games and look ahead to the 2018 FA Cup 5th Round. We’ll also be explaining lots of football language in the show and try some predictions as well. You can see the transcript for the show below and if you have questions or comments, email us at: admin@languagecaster.com (Damon= DB; Damian  DF).

Football Language Podcast: 2018 FA Cup 5th Round

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Transcript of the show

DF: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Welcome to the show for all those who love the game of football and who want to improve their English skills too. My name’s Damian, and I’m talking to you from a sunny London. I hope you’re well, and have enjoyed the football this week as much as I did. Damon, did you enjoy this week’s games?

DB: Hi Damian! Yes, I did! I managed to watch three of the first legs in the Champions League last 16 and thoroughly enjoyed them, all for different reasons. Now, are we going to be talking about those games in our review section later?

Line up

DF: Yes we will, Damon. We’ll start our show in just a moment with the good, the bad and the ugly – the news section, but will follow that with a quiz question before discussing some football language and this week the phrase to spill the ball features. And as it’s the 5th round of the FA Cup over here in England, we’ve got three games to look at at the end of the show in our predictions.

DB: Great!

You’re listening to languagecaster.com (message in Mandarin) 

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com. Please do send us a message just like that one, with the team you follow and where you are from in English or your own language – just include ‘you are listening to languagecaster.com.’

DF: Yes – more languages the better! Right, next it’s the good, the bad and the ugly – the news from the footballing world. And don’t forget, by the way, that the transcript for the show can be found at our website here at languagecaster.com.


DF: OK, I’m going to start  with Champions League and the last 16 knock-out stage. This week saw eight teams playing in four first-leg matches. Now, remember there are five English teams in the last 16, so they’ve done pretty well to all qualify for this stage, but this round of matches reinforced the fact that the English teams mean business this year. Tottenham started things by pulling off a fantastic come-from-behind draw; 2-2 away at Juventus. Remember the Italian giants had only conceded 1 goal in the last 16 matches and raced to a 2-0 lead only to see Spurs turn the whole fixture around with intense pressing football leading to two goals, one each for Kane and Eriksen, and that stunned the Italians. Elsewhere, Manchester City and Liverpool put a combined nine goals past Basel and Porto respectively, away from home, without conceding. Manchester City winning 4-0 and Liverpool 5-0. This ties look over already. I should also mention that Arsenal eased past Ostersunds FK 3-0 to add to the English teams good performances this week. English clubs have definitely laid down a marker in European football this week.


DB: Yes, brilliant stuff and you’ll fancy Tottenham to clinch the tie now, Damian?

DF: Not at all! Juventus are an experienced side in Europe and will have players back for the second leg – it will be tense. How about bad Damon?

DB: Well, while it was good for the English sides in the Champions League knock out first legs, it was a terrible first leg for French outfit PSG – Paris Saint-Germain. The Parisian side looked to be on course for a good away win or at least a draw as they struck early, but then they fell to pieces allowing Real Madrid to come from behind and beat them 3-1, with a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo. PSG’s superstar, Neymar, came in for particular criticism, as many thought he was selfish and didn’t function well with his teammates, trying to win the game on his own. It just goes to show that money can’t buy you everything, although we’ll have to see what PSG can produce in the return leg. Now, how about ugly, Damian?


DF: Well, this is a very ugly story indeed and for many of the victims it is an extremely sad one. In Britain this week a former football scout – that’s someone who finds talented young players for clubs – has been found guilty of over 50 counts of sexual abuse against young players dating back to the 1980s. This scandal has led to many questions about how clubs check on its employers and safe guard its young players – very ugly indeed.

Stinger: Hello, my name is Marcelo. I’m from Brazil. I’m a fan of Vasco da Gama and you are listening to languagecaster.com

Follow us

DB: Now, of course you can get in touch with us by coming along to our site at languagecaster.com, while we also have a twitter and Facebook account. And this week we have had questions and comments from Amadeu and Ahmed. Amadeu asked about the verb ‘to spill‘ which we feature in this week’s football language slot and Ahmed asked about reducing the size of the podcast – we’ll have a check about that to see what we can do there. Now, listeners to the show can also follow us on Instagram – thanks to all the comments and likes after the posts from earlier in the week – and if you want to contact us by email you can do so by writing to us at admin@languagecaster.com. We’d also love to hear from you. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly podcast – you can do this with i-tunes, tunedin, stitcher or any other podcast player and make sure you also tell your friends who are interested in learning more about football language.

Quiz Question

DF: OK, it’s time for our weekly quiz question

DB: Yes it is. And we want to know how many Premier League sides remain in ths season’s FA Cup fifth round – that’s the last 16 by the way – how many top-flight sides remain in the competition? And we’ll have the answer at the end of the show. And next up we explain some football language. Damian?

Football Language: To spill

DF: Yes, I am going to talk about the verb ‘to spill‘ and this phrase was brought to our attention from Amadeu in Brazil. Now, if a goalkeeper makes a save and then allows the ball to escape his or her hands we say that the ball has been spilled, that the keeper has spilled the ball. This could mean that a forward who is following in can take advantage and score with a tap in.

Now Amadeu asked about the phrase ‘to spill‘ from the following example: “Bale took a shot that was spilled by Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, and Ronaldo then managed to finish off the chance.”

So, to spill is to let something drop (usually liquid) but here it refers to the keeper losing control of the ball – the keeper saved it but could not hold on to the ball and so Ronaldo was able to score on the rebound. This phrase has a similar meaning to ‘parry a shot.’ Now, Amadeu then went on to ask whether spill meant that the goalkeeper had made a mistake and he used a great example from the 2002 World Cup final when we saw Brazil’s Rivaldo taking a shot and Germany’s Kahn spilling the ball and Ronaldo was on hand to poke it home. I think that 2002 World Cup final goal is a perfect example of that phrase and there is a link to that goal on our site here. I think if a keeper spills the ball it means that he or she has made a mistake. Would you agree Damon?
DB: I certainly would.
DF: Here’s another example, more recently, and this from the The Local.it, July 2017  describing a match between Germany and Italy’s female sides:Germany drew first blood in the 19th minute when Josephine Henning headed home after Italian keeper Laura Giuliani spilled the ball following Dzsenifer Marozsan’s free-kick’. To spill the ball. Any other language from this week, Damon?

(to) Defend too deep(ly)

DB: I’m going to talk about a phrase that was used in the Champions League this week ‘to defend too deeply‘. Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri denied that he had asked his side to defend deeply after going two goals up against Totenham. It appeared that the home side sat back and waited to hit Spurs on the counter attack but he suggested that Spurs had pushed his side back with their possession and attacking football. This idea of defending deeply (sometimes you will hear managers and players using the adjective form ‘ deep‘ instead of ‘deeply’) means that a team positions most of its players closer to its own goal rather than the opposition’s goal. Some teams use this tactic to frustrate attacking (or quick) sides but it can also backfire if the team positions its players too close to the goal as it then allows the attacking side to have more of the ball and put pressure on the defence – this would be defending too deeply.

Here’s an example from Juventus player Mattia De Sciglio, from the UEFA.com site,  ‘We started to defend too deep allowing them to have the ball easily in midfield’ which suggests that the positioning of his team was poor and it allowed the opponents to attack more.

DF: Good stuff and of course you can find these two phrases along with lots more football expressions, hundreds more in fact…

DB: …thousand!

DF: …in our football-language glossary on our site. Right, next up is our predictions section.


Sheffield Wednesday vs Swansea City

DF: Well, as it’s FA Cup 5th Round weekend we are focusing on three games from that competition including Swansea City under Carlos Carvalhal who until recently was the Sheffield Wednesday boss and of course that’s where his Welsh side will travel. Damon?

DB: Well, I wonder whether the Premier League side will field a weakened side, so they can secure their position in the league? This is also away at Sheffield Wednesday, so if they don’t have their full side I reckon they could come a cropper, they could get beaten in this one. 1-0 to Wednesday.

DF: No, I disagree. The Swans are playing really well at the moment and Wednesday are inconsistent. 2-1 to the away side for me.

Rochdale vs Tottenham Hotspur

DB: OK. Now, next up is Rochdale against Tottenham. The Tottenham coach Pochettino had asked for this game to be played on another pitch, as he thought the Rochdale pitch was in such poor condition, but I don’t think the pitch can help Rochdale in this tie. Tottenham to advance to the quarter-finals at the expense of the League 1, third tier, team. Maybe 2-0. You?

DF: We should win this but it will be interesting to see how the players respond – in the last round we were 10 minutes away from being dumped out of the Cup by League Two side Newport… I think we should have too much for Rochdale – yes, maybe 2…3-0 to Spurs.

DB: OK, and our last game is Wigan Athletic taking on Manchester City.

Wigan Athletic vs Manchester City

DB: Another mismatch on paper with a Premier League side versus a third-tier side, but it wasn’t that long ago when Wigan won the FA Cup in 2013 and they beat, you guessed it, Manchester City. They’re doing much better than Rochdale in the league too. Rochdale are bottom while Wigan are second. But, I don’t see a repeat of the 2013 win here though. A comfortable 2-0 away win with City resting some players too. What do you reckon, Damian?

DF: This will be a good game – I think Wigan might cause City some problems – what a huge cup upset this would be, er…1-2 to City but only after Wigan have gone ahead!

Quiz Answer

DB: Wow! OK after that bombshell. Now, before we go, what was the answer to the quiz question, Damian?

DF: We asked how many Premier League sides are still in the 5th Round of the FA Cup this year and the answer is ten: Chelsea and Leicester both won against lower-league opposition last night, we’ve already mentioned Man City and Tottenham who are facing League Two opposition. Swansea, of course, travel to Sheffield Wednesday, while Manchester United play Huddersfield and West Brom face Southampton in two all-Premier League match-ups and not forgetting Brighton who host former winners Coventry City.

DF: That’s right. I wonder will we see an all Premier League quarter-final line up? We’ll have another quiz question next week.

Good bye

DF: Right. That’s it for the show this week. Enjoy all of the football and next week we look at the League Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester City – maybe the first of an unprecedented quadruple for Guardiola’s side?

DB: It could be couldn’t it? Yes, and don’t forget the Manchester United-Chelsea match: Conte against Mourinho. Ta-rah!

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here
If you have any suggestions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com

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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.

PodcastEpisode 519