Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2021 Champions League Final

In this short football language podcast we look at some of the words and phrases used to describe Chelsea’s win over Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final and to do this we will look at the BBC report. You can read a 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 then you can contact us at admin@languagecaster.com.

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2021 Champions League Final

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team. I hope we are all doing well and staying safe wherever we are. Now, as regular listeners will know I am based in London while the other member of the Languagecaster.com team, Damon is in Tokyo although Damon is unavailable today. You will, however, be able to hear him on a couple of recent posts we have posted here on our site: first up on the 2021 Premier League winners Manchester City and then explaining a phrase from the Champions League final – he looks at the phrase ‘shaped hole‘ – interesting. Now we have been rather busy at languagecaster recently as we try to catch up with the end of the domestic season here in Europe. We have put out posts on the Women’s Champions League final, the Europa League final, that podcast on Manchester City’s Premier League win and this podcast which reviews the 2021 Champions League final between City and Chelsea.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in French).
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DF: Now on this football language podcast we look at some of the words and phrases from Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester City which gave the Blues their second Champions League title. We’ll look at three different aspects of the report; a summary of the game, a description of the winning goal and how Chelsea’s defence held firm. Right, let’s hear how the BBC summed up the whole game.

Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time with a fully deserved victory over Manchester City in an all-Premier League confrontation in Porto. (BBC.co.uk May 29 2021)
This is the opening sentence from the BBC report and typically for these types of reports it includes lots of information about the game: the names of the two sides, the winners, the venue and so on. We are going to take a look at how they have described some of the key nouns in the sentence. First of all, the word victory, which of course means a win, but what kind of victory was it? A fully deserved one shows that Chelsea were the better side in the final – they deserved to win with the word ‘fully‘ suggesting completely. The second one is ‘an all-Premier League confrontation‘ with the word ‘confrontation‘ describing the match between the two English sides – this idea of confrontation is a common one in football as it has the connotation of battle or fight between the two sides. Other similar words that can be used to describe a match include battle, clash, conflict and encounter all of which also have a war connotation.

Kai Havertz … got the winner three minutes before half-time when he collected a defence-splitting pass from Mason Mount to round City goalkeeper Ederson and score. (BBC.co.uk May 29 2021)
In this quote from the report, the BBC describe the winning goal from Havertz which came from a defence-splitting pass which is a pass that the defence cannot stop as the ball goes between the defenders (usually the central defenders). This pass is so accurate that there is nothing the defence can do about it and another way of saying this is a slide-rule pass – another super accurate pass or assist. Havertz then went round or rounded the keeper which means he dribbled past Ederson before scoring into the empty net. He could have hit a first-time shot, dinked the ball over the keeper, try to sit the keeper down but he was confident enough to round the keeper before slotting home.

Chelsea needed to be defensively perfect but this was no smash-and-grab result. (BBC.co.uk May 29 2021)
The final example on today’s podcast concerns Chelsea’s performance. The BBC report describes their defence as wonderful with no mistakes at all – perfect – but at the same time the writer also wants to emphasise that the Blues were not just sitting back and blocking City but were also a threat on the counter. The phrase smash and grab suggests that a robbery has occurred and is used when the winning team maybe didn’t deserve to win – they ‘stole’ the game but here the writer wants to demonstrate that this was not the case and that Chelsea’s win was a controlled and deserved one.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Thai).

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Thai. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site. Remember that you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or you can drop us a line at: admin@languagecaster.com.

OK, that’s it for this short podcast – we hope you have enjoyed our look back at the 2021 Champions League Final – congratulations again to Chelsea. And let us know if you hear any of the words and phrases we have mentioned in this show including ‘smash and grab‘; ‘defence-splitting pass‘ and ‘confrontation‘ and maybe you can tell us how they are said in other languages. And we’ll have more football phrases to talk about in our next podcast. Enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at languagecaster.com.

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