success breeds successThe 2015 Champions League semi-finalists have been decided after the four quarter-final second legs took place this week and on this listening report we review these games and discuss where they were won and lost. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the post.

Juventus

The current Serie A leaders have made the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in more than ten years after they drew 0-0 with French side Monaco to go through 1-0 on aggregate. In truth, the ‘Old Lady‘ was much more dominant than the score suggests with Monaco barely causing any problems for the Juventus defence. Arturo Vidal scored the crucial penalty in the first leg and along with Frenchman Paul Pogba, Argentinian Carlos Tevez and Italian internationals Buffon, Chielini and playmaker Pirlo they will be a tough opponent for anyone. However, winning their first Champions League title since 2003 might be beyond them for this year at least.

Real Madrid

Last year’s winners also moved through to the last four 1-0 on aggregate but their passage was not as smooth as Juventus‘. Real finally defeated their rivals AtlĂ©tico Madrid for the first time in eight matches this season when reserve striker Chicharito scored the only goal of the tie in the 88th minute. AtlĂ©tico were reduced to ten men in the second half when Turkish midfielder Turan received his second yellow card for a foul on Sergio Ramos which left his team mates fighting an uphill battle. Can Real be the first side to retain their European crown since AC Milan did so way back in 1990?

Barcelona

Now, one side that will be all out to stop them are Real’s arch-rivals Barcelona. The Spanish league leaders were already 3-1 up from the first leg and they made sure of a semi-final spot by scoring two first-half goals courtesy of Brazilian star Neymar. PSG, even with Ibrahimovic back in the side, were unable to make any headway against the Catalan side who will be among the favourites to lift the trophy. Messi and co. will be hopeful that they can win a remarkable treble (La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League) this season.

Bayern Munich

Another team that can win the treble is of course Bayern Munich. 1-3 down after the first leg, Guardiola’s side were under real pressure before the game but Bayern were 5-0 up at half-time to coast through to the semi-finals against a very poor Porto who collapsed so, so easily. The sides were level on aggregate around the 20-minute mark before Lewandowski scored two more to kill off the tie. Bayern will be looking for revenge against Real Madrid after last year’s mauling at the semi-final stage and if this performance is anything to go by then it could well happen.

Vocabulary support

have made the Champions League semi-finals: Have reached the last four

1-0 on aggregate: The total score

Old Lady: The nickname for Juventus

playmaker: The team member who organises the team’s play; usually the best passer on the team

their passage was not as smooth as Juventus: It was much more difficult for Real Madrid than for Juventus

courtesy of: Thanks to

to make any headway: To make any progress

reserve striker: He is not in the starting XI

the tie: The two games together (first and second legs)

fighting an uphill battle: Really struggling

to retain: To win titles in consecutive years

arch-rivals: Main rivals

3-1 up: Winning 3-1

Messi and co.: Barcelona (and co = and company, i.e. the rest)

1-3 down: Losing 1-3

to coast through to: To easily progress

to kill off the tie: To make sure that the other team has no chance

mauling: Thrashing

if this performance is anything to go by: If this is an example…

If you want to know more about a particular area of football language leave a comment below. You can also subscribe here to receive our selection of football clichés and of course you can check out our huge list of football vocabulary here.

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2014-2015Episode 257