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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2021 Women’s Champions League Final

In this short football language podcast we look at some of the language that emerged from the 2021 Women’s Champions League Final between Chelsea and Barcelona. The Catalan side easily won 4-0 and in this podcast we look at how The Guardian Online reported on this victory.  You can read a transcript for this podcast below, along with some vocabulary support at the end of the post, 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

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2021 Women’s Champions League Final

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team. I hope we are all doing well. Now on this short football language podcast we look at some of the words and phrases from the 2021 Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Chelsea in which the Spanish champions easily defeated the Women’s Super League champions Chelsea 4-0. You can read a transcript for this podcast by coming along to our site here at, while you can also find some vocabulary support at the end of the post too.

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Stinger: You are listening to (in Catalan).

DF: Congratulations to Barcelona on winning their first ever Champions League title after their four-goal demolition of Chelsea in the final and so what we are going to do today is look at some of the language used to describe each of the Catalan side’s goals. To do this we have used the Guardian newspaper’s report – here’s how they described the opening goal.

Netherlands forward Lieke Martens smashed the ball against the bar from the edge of the area and Fran Kirby’s desperate clearance in the follow up hit Leupolz and looped over goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger. ( May 16 2021)
There are two parts to this description: first we can see that the Barcelona attacker Martens ‘smashed the ball‘ which means to hit it really, really hard but when the ball rebounded off the crossbar, that’s the top part of the goal, it came back into the danger zone, the penalty area, which is why the Chelsea player Kirby wanted to clear it away from danger. However, when she cleared the ball it hit her own player, Leupolz, and rebounded into the net – an own goal. The report describes this own goal as looping over the goalkeeper which means that the ball travelled over the goalkeeper’s head into the net – the idea of looping over the keeper may suggest that the ball did not move so quickly but the direction of the ball meant it was difficult to stop it. An unfortunate way to concede a goal for Chelsea especially so early on in the game.

Inside 10 minutes Barça had a second, this time from the spot. ( May 16 2021)
Here’s how the newspaper reported on the second goal. So, the second goal for Barcelona came a few minutes later – they were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes which means that before ten minutes of the match had passed they were already leading 2-0 – the emphasis here is that so early on in the game Chelsea were already two goals down and facing an uphill struggle. This goal was scored from a penalty and when we want to describe a goal like this we sometimes just use the phrase ‘from the spot‘ – remember that a spot kick is another way of saying a penalty.

Putellas’s neat pass spun through the middle to the feet of Bonmatí who brushed off the challenge of Jess Carter and slotted past Berger( May 16 2021)
Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as the Barcelona attacks were easily cutting through their defence and after 20 minutes they found themselves three down. This is what the Guardian said about the goal:

The ball reached Bonmatí who then did two things: first she stopped the Chelsea defender Carter from tackling her – she brushed her off (note that we can say that She brushed Carter off or She brushed off Carter) and this means that she easily held her off and that the defender could not get near the ball. We can also use the phrase brush aside in this case – Bonmatí brushed Carter aside. The second thing that the Barca player did was to slot the ball past the Chelsea keeper Berger – she slotted the ball home – which means to score a goal with some precision, the striker almost passed the ball into the net.
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…Martens nutmegged Millie Bright for Graham Hansen to pop into the empty net from close range ( May 16 2021)
Unbelievably the first-half scoring was not finished as Barcelona scored their fourth in the 36th minute and this is what The Guardian said.

So, Hansen tapped home from close range which means that she was not far out from the goal – the empty net means there was no one (no keeper or defender) to guard the goal so it was an easy finish from the striker. The first part of this sentence describes how the ball reached the striker – Martens nutmegged the Chelsea defender Bright before crossing the ball to Hansen. A nutmeg, remember, is when a player puts the ball through an opponent‘s legs.

There were no more goals in the second half as Barcelona saw out the game to win their first Champions League title and although Chelsea were well beaten they can take heart from the fact that this year’s winners were thrashed in the Champions League final two years before.

Stinger: You are listening to (in German).

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to 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:

OK, that’s it for this short podcast – we hope you have enjoyed our look back at the 2021 Women’s Champions League Final – congratulations again to Barcelona. And let us know if you hear any of the words and phrases we mentioned in this show 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.


  • smashed the ball: To hit the ball really hard
  • rebounded off the crossbar: To bounce off the top of the goal back into play
  • from the spot: To score from a penalty
  • a spot kick: A penalty kick (taken from the penalty spot)
  • brushed her off: To stop an opponent from getting to the ball; to hold off an opponent; to brush aside an opponent
  • nutmegged: To put the ball through an opponent’s legs
  • saw out the game: To manage the game so that your team can keep the result they want
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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