Listening Report: You Will Walk Alone! Beşiktaş v Liverpool

success breeds successLast week Damon went to watch his team Liverpool play Beşiktaş in a Europa League second leg match in Istanbul. Here are his impressions of the game. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the post.

You Will Walk Alone! Beşiktaş v Liverpool

Amazing fans

I thought it would be a fantastic chance to watch Liverpool, the team I support, play Turkish side Beşiktaş while I was visiting Turkey on work last week. I had bought tickets to the game last month and was really excited, anticipating a great atmosphere and hopefully watching Liverpool build on their one-nil first leg lead and going through to the last 16 in the Europa League.

Getting to the stadium

The game was played at the Ataturk Stadium, also known as the Olymiyat Stati. This was the scene of Liverpool’s famous 2005 come from behind victory against AC Milan – the Miracle of Istanbul. Getting there was a real struggle. It is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by wasteland. A nightmare for football fans, as there were no restaurants, no easy train links, and no places to stay nearby. It is not Beşiktaş’ home ground, which is near central Istanbul and is being rebuilt at the moment.

Inside the Stadium

Getting inside was difficult. riot police were turning people away from the gates, even though they had tickets. there was a feeling of desperation in the air as fans tried to force their way past the police and stewards. When myself and my friend, Joe, finally got in to the ground we soon found out that our seats were taken. The Beşiktaş fans were packed into the ground, 70,000, and many had ignored their seats and crammed into the main stands. People were standing on the seats and packed into the stairs between the rows of seats. It was a sea of Beşiktaş fans.

The Atmosphere

The crowd were incredible. the noise was deafening; the singing and chants non stop. Beşiktaş colours, black and white, were everywhere and the atmosphere was very hostile. Every time a Liverpool player touched the ball their was a chorus of boos and hissing. Every time the referee gave Liverpool a throw in or a free kick, the same. When Beşiktaş had the ball the fans gave their full support with songs, chants and flares. Being a non Beşiktaş fan in the middle of the Black Eagles‘ fans was a very intimidating experience. A banner said ‘you will walk alone’, a version of Liverpool’s famous song, ‘You’ll never walk alone’. I certainly did feel alone.

The Result

Beşiktaş scored a fantastic goal to go level in the tie and after extra time won on penalties. For me, the result was the Beşiktaş fans were the winners. They drove their team on to victory in a game in which Liverpool, on paper, should have won.

Vocabulary Support

build on: add to; increase something

the Miracle of Istanbul: this is now an accepted phrase referring to Liverpool’s Champions League final win against AC Milan

boos: loud noises showing displeasure

the Black Eagles: Beşiktaş’ nickname

packed: crammed; squeezed

drove ~ on: encouraged; supported; pushed forward

on paper: objectively; looking at each player versus his or her opponent

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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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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