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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2018 Carabao Cup Final and Man Utd vs Chelsea

2018 Carabao Cup FinalOn this week’ s Learn English Through Football Podcast we look ahead to some big games from the weekend including the Carabao Cup final between Man City and Arsenal and a grudge match between Manchester United and Chelsea. We’ll also be explaining lots of football language in the show, including the phrase ‘drag a shot wide‘ and try to predict some of the big games as well. You can see the transcript for the show below and if you have questions or comments, email us at: (Damon= DB; Damian  DF).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2018 Carabao Cup Final and Man Utd vs Chelsea

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Transcript of the show

DB: 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 Damon and I’m in a cold, grey Tokyo, where the Winter Olympics are dominating the news, but the football season here has started up again, so there’s football around too. Damian, are the Olympics big in London?

DF: Hello Damon and hello everyone. It’s fairly big though with the time difference, it’s not as big as it is in Japan. By the way, it is wintry weather conditions here in London with temperatures about to drop to -6 degrees over the weekend…

DB: …yikes

DF: … I wonder if any games might be postponed this week due to freezing conditions? So, Damon, the J-League starts again this weekend, which teams are favourites for the title?

DB: Good question. I’m gonna’ say two teams beginning with ‘K’ and the main one is Kashima… Kashima Antlers and… but I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that my local team Kawasaki might do well too, so the two teams with ‘K’.

DF: Wow, that’s great, what’s on the line up for today’s show?

Line up

DB: OK, Damian. Well, first, we’ll look at some footballing news in our section called the good, the bad, and the ugly. Second, we have a quiz question and this week it is connected with the Olympics, and that’s the summer version of course. Thirdly, we’ll talk about a few English for football phrases, including the phrase to drag the ball wide. And finally, we’ve got predictions, where we look at a couple of Premier League games and the League Cup, now known as the Carabao Cup, Final between Arsenal and Manchester City.

DF: Yes, the name of this competition has changed a lot through the years hasn’t it Damon? What version do you remember most?

DB: Well to be honest, I always called it and knew it as simply the League Cup, but I suppose the Milk Cup version was the one I was most familiar with. You?

DF: Yes, I agree with you as I always knew it as the League Cup.

You’re listening to (message in Thai) 

DB: Yes, you are listening to And we’ll start the main part of our show with the good, the bad and the ugly.

DF: Yes and don’t forget that the transcript for the show can be found at our website here at


DF: Now I’m going to start with good. And I’m going to start start with another cup, that’s the FA Cup, and, in particular, the performance of the two League One sides. Remember in England League One refers to the third level, the third tier, of football. First of all Rochdale stunned Tottenham, as first they took the lead against the Premier League side and then they came back with an injury-time equaliser to level the game at 2-2 and to force a replay at Wembley, that’s Tottenham’s temporary ground.

DB: Yeah…

DF: God, it was painful Damon, I watched it last Sunday…but the biggest shock was Wigan beating Manchester City in the same competition 1-0. It was a fine goal by Will Grigg which was reward for a dogged, defensive display.

DB: Incredible…

DF: And that’s the third time Wigan have beaten Man City in the FA Cup by 1-0 – and they are definitely a bogey team for the Manchester side.

DB: They are indeed. Yes, it took a red card to help Wigan, but brilliant stuff by those two teams keeping the romance, the magic, of the Cup alive.


DB: Now, I’m going to talk about bad. And not so magic or romantic were the scenes at Wigan after the game. There was a pitch invasion, this is when the fans run on to the pitch, usually to celebrate but sometimes in anger. This obviously puts players at risk, and indeed Manchester City’s striker Aguero claims he was sworn at and spat at by a Rochdale fan as they crowded around the players trying to leave the pitch. He lashed out at, that is, tried to punch the fan. And the Manchester City fans also responded to the Wigan fans who had invaded the pitch by throwing advertising boards at both them and the police. Now, in addition, both teams have been charged by the FA for failing to control their players when Manchester City’s Fabian Delph was given a red card. Both sets of players surrounded the referee, which earned the FA’s charge. A bad end to a good, at least for Wigan, game.


DF: Yes, very, very interesting scenes there and well, for ugly I’m going to talk about much more serious scenes between fans of Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow in the Europa League match in mid-week. Now, there was serious fighting before the game with Russian fans in particular firing flares, these are like fireworks, and a local police officer unfortunately died from a heart attack. And more ugly news in the Europa League as Dortmund player Michi Batshuayi has accused some Atalanta fans of making racist chants during the German’s teams tie in Italy. Ugly stories from the Europa League this week.


DB: Now, of course you can get in touch with us by coming along to our site at, while we also have a twitter and Facebook account. And listeners to the show can also follow us on Instagram and if you want to contact us by email you can do so by writing to us at We’d also love to hear from you. Now, 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: Yes indeed. It’s time for our weekly quiz question. As we said, this week’s question is connected with the Olympics. With the Winter Olympics in full swing in Korea, we want to know which teams played in the last Summer Olympics football final, and of course, which team won? So, which team got gold in football at the summer Olympics in 2016 and who did they beat?

DB: And answer at the end of the show. OK, next it’s our spotlight on some English for football.

Football Language: Drag a shot wide

DF: Yes Damon, I’m going to start with the phrase ‘drag a shot wide‘. And I heard this used by the commentator in the Seville-Manchester United Champions League match this week. So, in football there are lots of words and phrases for when a player misses a scoring chance and one of these is to drag a shot wide. Now, ‘wide’ tells us that the player has missed the target – the ball has gone to the left or the right of the posts – while the verb ‘drag’ tells us how the player has shot. This means that the player has not had clean contact with the ball, that the player has mishit the ball, and has lost control of where he or she wants to place the ball. If a player drags the ball wide it usually means that the player was in a good position to score but has missed badly due to poor technique. To drag a shot wide. Now, an example of this phrase is this one from the BBC this month: ‘…before substitute Marcus Rashford dragged a shot wide in the closing stages.’ ( 22nd Feb 2018), so he missed poorly. How about you Damon, what have you got?

(to) Slot in

DB: Yes, OK, I’m going to talk about a verb, slot, used with the preposition ‘in’ or ‘into’- to slot in. To slot in means to fit in, to join a team and match their style. Sometimes a player is bought and has difficulty slotting into a team, the manager can’t find their best position, or they don’t play well with their teammates. If they slot in, it means, like a piece of machinery, they fit smoothly into the team. This is an example from from May 2017: “Xhaka has impressed in spells but largely disappointed, Pogba has become United’s key player and Wijnaldum has slotted into Liverpool’s system nicely.” Now, there is a similar phrase, to slot home, but that refers to an accurate shot resulting in a goal. Come along to the site and check out slot home and slot into on our glossary page!

DF: That’s right, we have hundreds more entries on our football-language glossary on page at Right, next up is our predictions section.


2018 Carabao Cup Final: Manchester City vs Arsenal

DF: And we’ll start with the League Cup final, the Carabao Cup final, played at Wembley this Sunday. What do our reckon Damon?

DB: Do you know I fancy Arsenal for this one. I think Manchester City may be a bit rattled after losing to Wigan. They have a few players coming back from injury who don’t look at their best and there’s always a mistake in the defence if they can be put under pressure. Arsenal also have, on paper, some exciting attacking forwards so I’m going for a 2-1 Arsenal win.

DF: No chance. I had a feeling City would struggle against Wigan in the FA Cup but this is not going to happen here – 3-1 to Manchester City for me.

Manchester United vs Chelsea


DF: Please make it happen!

DB: Next is another north west vs London tie, with Manchester United hosting Chelsea. I think this will be a 0-0 draw. This would suit Manchester United more than Chelsea, so I reckon Mourinho will set up for a tight game. You?

DF: This is a big grudge game, remember a couple of weeks ago we featured the spat, that’s the argument, between Conte and Mourinho so I wonder what we’ll hear from the two managers this weekend? I agree that it will be tight… maybe 1-1.

West Bromich Albion vs Huddersfield Town

DB: Alright, OK. And our last game is a big, big one for West Bromwich Albion who haven’t won in their last five outings in the league. Huddersfield, who they play, have also had a dreadful 2018 but they did have a morale-boosting win against Bournemouth last game, putting four past the south-coast team. Now a loss for West Brom and their manager, Alan Pardew, will be under huge pressure – I think this will be a chaotic 2-2.

DF: West Brom are in big trouble with only three wins all season.

DB: Yikes…

DF: I think they will win this ‘six-pointer‘ as Huddersfield are poor travellers – they have a really bad away record… 2-0 for the home side for me.

Quiz Answer

DB: OK, now, before we go, what was the answer to the quiz question, Damian?

DF: Well, the answer was Brazil and Germany were the finalists in the Summer Olympic final in Brazil back in 2016. It went to penalties with Brazil winning the gold. I think Neymar scored the winning goal actually.

DB: That’s right! Revenge for the World Cup – kind of…

Good bye

DF: Yeah, kind of… not at all. OK, that’s all for this week. Next week we’ll have more football language and we will be looking ahead to the Manchester City vs Chelsea game in the Premier League. Bye bye!

DB: Ta-rah!

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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