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Main Listening Report: 2012 Champions League Semi-Final Preview

On this week’s main listening report we preview the Champions League semi-final second legs that are both delicately poised: Real Madrid face Bayern Munich, while on Tuesday Barcelona host Chelsea. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the report. There is also a worksheet (see right) for learners who wish to improve their English.

2012 Champions League Semi-Final Preview

Barcelona vs Chelsea

No team has retained the Champions League trophy since Milan did so in 1994, meaning the already difficult task for holders Barcelona became even more so after their 0-1 defeat in London against Chelsea. It is true that the Catalan side created far more chances than the home team: 13 shots to 1 (with 6 of those on target), while Barca enjoyed 72% possession – a remarkable statistic for an away side – yet Didier Drogba’s first half-goal has given Chelsea a real possibility of exacting revenge on Barcelona for their semi-final defeat four years ago. Chelsea defended very well, were brave and maintained their concentration throughout the whole game – the question is can they do it again away in the Nou Camp next week? Many pundits would say that The Blues can not get away with another performance like the first leg but like Inter Milan two years ago they will know that when Barca have to come from behind the pressure will be on.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich

The second semi-final also saw a Spanish side defeated – this time Madrid were beaten by a late goal from German international Mario Gomez to give Bayern Munich a deserved 2-1 lead. Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was not too downbeat after the game as his side has a valuable away goal meaning that a 1-0 victory in Madrid next week would be enough to secure a place in the final but the Madrid coach also knows that if his side fails to progress to the final then his tenure in Madrid could be over. The fact that this season’s final will take place in Bayern’s home stadium is an added incentive for the Bavarian side and they will be quietly confident of scoring an away goal which would mean that Real would need at least three goals to win.

Before the first leg matches most football fans were predicting an all-Spanish final, a clasico, but after the first legs it is the underdogs – a strange term to describe Chelsea or Bayern – who have the upper hand. Will that still be the case by next week?


has retained: Has won the title again, two years in a row

to come from behind: To win a match after going down (losing)

exacting revenge: To gain revenge

the Nou Camp: The home stadium of Barcelona

pundits: Experts about football

downbeat: Disheartened, disappointed

his tenure: His reign, his time as manager

an added incentive: More motivation

the Bavarian side: Bayern Munich

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