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Learn English Through Football Podcast: (to) Peg Back

Do you know what to ‘peg back’ means? This football language podcast for learners of English, looks at this phrase and other language related to it. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, and you can also access our huge 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

Learn English Through Football Podcast: (to) Peg Back

football languageDB: Hello there. Thanks for tuning in to, the podcast and website for all these interested in the language of football. My name’s Damon and I’m podcasting from a slightly chilly Tokyo – autumn is here! Damian, the other member of the languagecaster team is London. And maybe we are both feeling a bit down after our teams,  Liverpool for me, Tottenham for Damian, lost in the Premier League this weekend.

Stinger: You are listening to (Italian)

Peg back

DB: Yes, you are listening to, and that message was in Italian.

Right, today, we’re looking at the phrase ‘to peg back’, which means to close the gap in a score. So, if team A was winning the match 2-0 and team B scores a goal to make it 2-1, they peg back team A. Here is an example from the Daily Mirror online, reporting on the Southampton versus Arsenal match this weekend:

Granit Xhaka gave the Gunners the lead on 11 minutes, as he neatly tucked home Ben White’s cross. But Mikel Arteta’s men were pegged back in the second half through Stuart Armstrong’s equaliser.

So, Arsenal were leading 1-0, but an equaliser by Stuart Armstrong pegged the Gunners, Arsenal, back. The one goal gap was closed.

(to) Pull One Back

What are some other ways we can talk about closing a gap in the score? Well, we can say a team has pulled one back, meaning they have scored one goal to get closer to their opponent. Here is an example from reporting on el Classico, Real Madrid vs Barcelona:

And as Barca battled on they finally pulled one back as Ansu Fati’s cross found Ferran Torres unmarked at the back post.

(to) Tuck Home

DB: And before we wrap up, let’s go back to that first Mirror report and look at another great football phrase – to tuck home. This comes from the phrase, to tuck away, which  means to put something safely away. For example, someone might tuck some money away in a draw each week to save it and keep it safe. In football this phrase is used to describe a goal. If a player tucks the ball away or tucks it home, he or she guides the ball past the goalkeeper safely into the net. The feeling is that the player may have missed or the keeper may have saved the shot, but in the end it was scored safely.

Stinger: You are listening to (Welsh)


DB: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in Welsh. OK. We looked at some phrases from the match between Southampton and Arsenal: to peg back and to tuck home, and also the phrase to pull one back.

Remember, that if you want to ask any football-language questions or simply say hello then you can do so by adding a comment on our site here at or by using our forum. You can also send us an email at and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


DB: Right, that’s it for this short football-language podcast. Enjoy all of the football and remember to check out our World Cup predictions competition, just come along to and join in! Ta-ra!

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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