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Learn English Through Football Podcast: Do the Double (2024 Domestic Cup Finals)

Do the double: In this football language podcast we look back at a weekend full of cup finals across Europe as many teams tried to do the double. You can read the 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 or questions then you can contact us at

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Learn English Through Football Podcast: Do the Double (2024 Domestic Cup Finals)

DF: Hello everyone. You’re listening to’s football-language podcast. The show for everyone who wants to practice their English and who loves the beautiful game of football. My name is Damian and I am based in London and I am one half of the Languagecaster team – the other member is Damon who, of course for regular listeners who will know, is based in Tokyo, Japan.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Tagalog)

Now, last weekend saw lots of domestic cup finals being played across Europe and on this week’s podcast we are going to take a look at four of them. Now in all of these finals one of the teams was trying to complete a double: that’s winning the domestic league and cup. So, we are going to look at the FA Cup in England, the Coupe de France, the Scottish Cup and the Pokal from Germany. Do you remember which teams were going for the double in those finals and how many of them were successful?

Stinger: You are listening to (from Umid in Tashkent (Uzbekistan))


Now before we take a look at these finals let’s take a look at the phrase, ‘the double‘ and how different verbs can collocate or go with this word in football:

  1. To do the double
  2. To complete the double (To complete a league and cup double)
  3. To win the double
  4. To deny (a team) the double [so, to stop them from winning the double]
  5. To clinch the double
  6. To secure the double

Now, five of these phrases all really mean to win the double. So, to do the double; complete the double; clinch the double; secure the double – with one of them, ‘to deny the double’ is to stop the other team from winning the double.

We are also going to be looking at the phrases, ‘to pounce on‘; ‘the Old Firm‘; ‘ to battle past‘ and ‘to defy‘ – do you know what these words mean?

Stinger: You are listening to (in Hungarian)

FA Cup: Manchester United v Manchester City – Defy the odds

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Manchester United and beleaguered manager Erik ten Hag defied the odds and their critics to pull off a stunning FA Cup final victory over hot favourites Manchester City at Wembley (, May 25 2024)
Before this year’s FA Cup final between Manchester rivals United and City, no one really gave United (The Red Devils) any real chance of stopping City of winning their second successive double. City had just won their fourth league title in a row, the Reds had finished in their lowest ever Premier League position of eighth. City had beaten United twice in the league – and they had also defeated their neighbours in the previous cup final (2022-23). But it was United who lifted the trophy after two first-half goals from two teenagers Garnacho and Mainoo. This was a huge shock as most people had expected City to easily win but the Reds defied the odds and won their 13th FA Cup title.

To defy the odds means to do well or in this case to win when no one is expecting you to do so; it is unlikely that the team wins but it still happens. The phrase probably comes from the world of betting and gambling and means that United surprisingly beat the favourites – they defied the odds. In this BBC report, they suggest that United defied both the odds and their critics; they defied their critics which means they did not listen to those who had criticised them; they performed in a much better way and ended up winning the title. We could also say that City were denied in their attempt to win the double – they were stopped by United. OK, so no double in England for City but how about the team going for the double in Scotland?

Scottish Cup: Celtic v Rangers – To Pounce

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Idah pounced from six yards when Rangers goalkeeper Jack Butland parried Paulo Bernardo’s fierce drive. (, May 25 2024)
This was the first time that the two biggest clubs in Scotland had met in a cup final for over twenty years which added even more spice to what is traditionally a huge rivalry. During the regular league season, Celtic won four of the five Old Firm derbies and went on to win the Scottish Premier League title so were favourites to repeat the double of the year before. The game was a scrappy one but was decided in the last minute of regular time when Irish striker Adam Idah slotted home after the Rangers’ goalkeeper Butland could only parry the ball (this means he couldn’t hold on to the ball). The BBC report on the final said that Idah pounced on the rebound which means he moved quicker than anyone else to score – a cat will pounce when attacking and this is the idea behind the description: Idah was quicker than the defenders which allowed him to score. Now, this was Celtic’s second double in a row; so it’s a double double!

Pokal: Leverkusen v Kaiserslautern – Battle past

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Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen battled past second division Kaiserslautern 1-0 on Saturday to win the German Cup and secure the club’s first ever domestic double.(, May 25 2024)
So, Bayer Leverkusen won their first ever Bundesliga title last week and are also the first team to go unbeaten in a season – a remarkable feat for a team that for the longest time was known as Neverkusen for not winning anything. Xabi Alonso’s team bounced back from a Europa League final defeat against Atalanta to beat second division Kaiserslautern in the German Cup Final (Pokal) on Saturday to complete their first ever double. Soon after scoring the opening goal they had a man sent off but despite being down to ten players they held on to win the trophy and according to the Guardian newspaper article they battled past Kaiserslautern. To battle is used when one team has to work even harder than usual to win the game – maybe because they are playing against a stronger team or they have had injuries or a player (or two) sent off. So, Leverkusen had to fight hard to defeat their opponents. Well done to them on securing their first ever domestic double.

Coupe de France: PSG v Lyon – Complete a domestic double

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Kylian Mbappe ended his Paris St-Germain career with a French Cup final win over Lyon as Luis Enrique’s side completed the domestic double (, May 25 2024)
PSG have been a dominant force in French football for the past 12 years winning ten Ligue 1 titles and seven French cups. They faced former French powerhouse Lyon in the final last weekend aiming to win their fifth domestic double after securing the league title with games to spare. Two first-half goals from Ousmane Dembélé and Fabián Ruiz were enough to see off Lyon and to give them not only a record-extending 15th domestic cup title but also their fifth double – another record. Speaking of records, it was the final game of the club’s all-time goalscorer Kylian Mbappé who scored an amazing 256 goals in 308 appearances during his seven years at the club. Congratulations to him and of course to PSG for completing yet another double.

Stinger: You are listening to (in French)


DF: Yes, you are listening to, and that message was in French. If you’d like to add another stinger in another language you know then drop us a line at

Remember, that here on our site you can find out more about some of the words and phrases that we have already discussed, along with hundreds more football-language expressions by coming along to our football-language glossary.


Football Language Glossary

Stinger: You are listening to (from a Brazilian fan).


DF: OK, if you have any questions or comments about any of the words and phrases from today or indeed any other football language then drop us an email at And you can also look out for us on social media – come along and say hello. We also have a football-language forum where you can ask and answer any questions you have on the language of football.

Subscribe to our Podcast

DF: And of course don’t forget to subscribe to our football-language podcasts. We have recently posted a podcast on the phrase, ‘successive title‘ after Chelsea won their fifth WSL title in a row. You can access all of our other football-language podcasts at

Learning English Through Football Podcast

Stinger: You are listening to (in Vietnamese).


DF: Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast with lots of vocabulary support. Come along and have a look. OK, that’s it for this podcast in which we looked at the phrase, ‘do the double‘. We also explained the phrases, ‘to pounce on‘; ‘ to battle past‘ and ‘to defy‘. Let us know if you hear any of these phrases in any language over the next week or so.

DF: Enjoy all the football this week including of course the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Dortmund – who do you think will win? Well, my head says Madrid by my heart says Dortmund. Let’s see what happens. We’ll be back soon after with some more football language. Until then, bye bye!

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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