Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2024 FA Cup Third Round

FA Cup

This week’s football language podcast looks at some of the language associated with the FA Cup Third Round including, ‘gulf in class‘; ‘force a replay’ and ‘pull of a shock‘. And don’t forget that 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 or questions then you can contact us at admin@languagecaster.com.

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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2024 FA Cup Third Round

DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to Languagecaster.com – the football-language podcast for learners and teachers of English. I’m Damian and I’m back in London after a short Christmas trip to Ireland. I hope you had a great break and watched lots of football over the festive period. There’s been a slight delay with the latest podcast as work has been super busy for both myself and Damon who is of course based in Japan.

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

Right, on today’s short podcast I will be focusing on some terms connected to the Third Round of the FA Cup in England which is when the Premier League and Championship sides enter the competition. This means that they play against teams from League One and Two, as well as some non-league sides – this year there were four of them involved at this stage of the competition. I’ll be looking at four of the matches, including one that I actually went to see, and I’ll be looking at some of the language that came out from these games including, ‘gulf in class‘; ‘force a replay’ and ‘pull of a shock‘.  

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

Sunderland v Newcastle: Gulf in class

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There was a chance of an upset in this game with Championship side Sunderland taking on their north-east rivals Newcastle, especially as Newcastle had been going through a poor run of form. However, the Premier League side easily defeated their local neighbours 3-0 to progress to the Fourth Round of the Cup. The result was never in doubt with Newcastle much better than their opponents; so much better in fact that we can say there was a gulf in class. This phrase means that one side was far superior to the other one, that there was a huge difference between the two sides. Newcastle were quicker, stronger, tactically better and they were also much more clinical in front of goal and this phrase means that they took their chances. A similar phrase to ‘gulf in class‘ is the clichemen against boys‘ which again means that one team is much, much better than the other one.

Maidstone v Stevenage: Pull off a shock

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Maidstone from the 6th tier of English football defeated Stevenage from League 1 in their FA Cup third round match. This was a huge surprise as non-league Maidstone play three divisions or tiers below their opponents and had never qualified this far in the competition before. They pulled off a shock win which means they succeeded in doing something that they were not expected to do. We might also hear the phrase, ‘to pull off a shock result‘. I wonder if any teams will pull off a shock in the next round of the competition?

West Ham v Bristol City: Force a replay

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Now, I went along to this game between Premier League side West Ham against Championship team Bristol City at the London Stadium. The Premier League side went ahead early on – mainly thanks to their Brazilian star Paquetá who assisted the opening goal with a lovely chipped pass. But he was injured soon after and when he went off, the away side got back into the game and scored an equaliser in the second half. The goal meant that there would be a replay which of course means another game is needed to decide the tie and this time the game will be played in Bristol. If a team forces a draw or forces an equaliser it means that they scored a goal to earn a replay in the cup; they have another chance to play the game.

Arsenal v Liverpool: Spurn chances

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To spurn something usually means to reject it but in football we use the phrase, ‘spurn a chance‘ to mean to miss the chance or to miss the opportunity to score. In the Arsenal versus Liverpool  game, the home side Arsenal had many good chances at the start of the game but they failed to take these chances to score so we can say that they spurned the chances; they failed to score.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (Arsenal fan)

Yes, that message was from an Arsenal fan – drop us a line if you want to add a stinger, in any language, that says ‘you are listening to Languagecaster’ at admin@anguagecaster.com.



Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (Palermo supporter)


Now, if you have any questions or comments then drop us an email at admin@languagecaster.com and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also have a football-language forum where you can ask and answer any questions you have on the language of football. Don’t forget to subscribe to our football-language podcast and a quick reminder that you can also access all of our other football-language podcasts – we have hundreds of them – by coming along to our site here at Languagecaster.com and of course, please tell your friends!

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (a Czech fan)


DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from a Czech fan. Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast and there’s lots of vocabulary support too. We explain lots of the meanings of these words in the transcript, which you can access by coming along to Languagecaster.

OK, that’s it for this short podcast about the 2024 FA Cup third round and in particular the phrases, ‘pull of a shock‘; ‘gulf in class‘; ‘force a replay‘ and ‘spurn a chance‘. Let us know if you hear any of these words in any language while watching football over the next week or two. And we’ll see you all again soon. Bye bye!

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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