Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2021 Europa League Final

In this short football language podcast we look at some of the language from the BBC report on the 2021 Europa League Final between Manchester United and Villareal. 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 Europa League Final

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team. I hope we are all doing well. I am in a sunny London – it’s been raining in the UK for the past three weeks so it’s great to finally see some sun! Now as regular listeners of the show will know, the other member of the Languagecaster.com team, Damon is based in Tokyo but it will just be me today although you can hear him in a recent post that came out earlier this week on the new 2021 Premier League champions Manchester City.

Now on this short football language podcast we look at some of the words and phrases from a BBC report on the 2021 Europa League final between Manchester United and Villareal which saw the Spanish side win their first ever trophy – well done to them. We look at three different parts of the report – descriptions of the two goals and an overall summary of the game which usually appears at the start of a sports report. Don’t forget that you can read the transcript for this podcast by coming along to our site here at languagecaster.com.

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

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DF: OK, let’s see how the BBC opened their report – they did this by providing a one-sentence summary of the game, including the result, the teams, the venue, the main protaganist (that’s the main character) and how the result came about. 

David de Gea failed at the end of a marathon penalty shootout as Villarreal dashed Manchester United’s hopes of Europa League glory in Gdansk. (BBC.co.uk May 26 2021)
There are two parts to the sentence. The first one uses the verb ‘failed‘ to describe the Manchester United’s goalkeeper David de Gea’s miss in the penalty shootout at the end of the final; remember that a penalty shootout occurs when both sides are still drawing with each other after 90 minutes and then 30 minutes of extra time and this shoot out takes place to decide the winners – to try and break the deadlock. The shootout in this report is described as a ‘marathon’ which means that it went on for a long time (11 penalties for each side) as of course the marathon is the longest running race in the Olympics. The second part of the sentence uses the verb ‘dashed‘ to describe how Villareal destroyed Manchester United’s hopes – the verb ‘to dash‘ often collocates with words such as dreams and hopes – to destroy the hopes of another team. In this case it really means that they defeated United.

Solskjaer’s side did not start well and fell behind to a soft goal from Gerard Moreno. (BBC.co.uk May 26 2021)
When describing the Spanish side’s opening goal the BBC used the verb phrase ‘to fall behind‘ which means that a team goes one down, they concede a goal and now are losing in the match. This phrase is often used with the name of the scorer, so for example, United fell behind to a Moreno goal. It can also be used with a description of the goal, ‘they fell behind to a penalty‘ or as in this example, ‘fell behind to a soft goal from Moreno‘. Here soft goal is an expression used to describe a goal that could either have been prevented or maybe it was a rather lucky one; it’s one which should not really have been conceded.

Edinson Cavani dragged United level 10 minutes into the second period after a Marcus Rashford shot had been deflected into his path (BBC.co.uk May 26 2021)
So, Manchester United equalised when their Uruguayan striker Cavani scored early in the second half and the report uses the verb dragged United level to describe this. The verb here is doing two things: first, it is explaining that the shot was not really hit cleanly; he almost scuffed the shot and second that his goal helped drag United back into the game – they equalised but maybe they had not been playing well and may not have fully deserved it. The second part of the sentence describes how the ball came to Cavani – from a deflected shot from his team mate. So, Marcus Rashford’s shot was going wide but the ball hit another player – it was deflected – and ended up in front of Edinson Cavani who then poked the ball home.

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

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in German. 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 Europa League Final – congratulations again to Spanish side Villareal on their first ever piece of silverware. And let us know if you hear any of the words and phrases we mentioned in this show including ‘dash their hopes‘; ‘penalty shootout‘ and ‘drag back into the game‘ 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.

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