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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2007 FA Cup 3rd Round

Damian and Damon look ahead to the FA Cup 3rd Round by looking back at some of the history of the FA Cup. There is also a worksheet for this report (complete with answers) which can be downloaded here.

The FA Cup

The money is made in the Champions’ League. The respect is gained by winning the premier league, but for rich history and romance look no further than the FA Cup. This weekend sees the third round of the English FA Cup. This is the round where the bigger teams from the Premier League and the Championship join a mixture of league and non-league teams from England and Wales who have battled through qualifying rounds and the two early rounds. This is where the minnows go up against the giants, where the amateurs and semi-pros get to share the pitch with the big names, and where shock results are certain to happen.

The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world. It started in 1871-72, over 130 years ago with 15 teams taking part – this year over 600 have entered. That final was won by Wanderers, a team made up of ex-public school and university students. The FA Cup has inspired other competitions around the world, for example the Emperor’s Cup in Japan, won this year by Urawa Reds is a copy. The competition gets it’s magic from the fact that any team has a chance to win and to make history. Famous upsets have included:

  • Wrexham, in 1992, they defeated the league champions Arsenal in the Third Round. The previous season. Wrexham had finished bottom of the Football League.
  • Another huge shock was when non-league team Sutton United in the 1988-1989 FA Cup campaign beat the 1987 winners Coventry City.
  • And recently Wycombe Wanderers, from the Second Division, beat Premier league side Leicester in the quarter-finals of the 2000-01 competition.

Despite the fact that upsets do happen, it is normally the big guns that finally win through. Manchester United are currently the most successful FA Cup side, winning 11 times, followed by Arsenal on 10. Another team with a long FA Cup history, Liverpool won the trophy last year in what many people think was the most exciting FA Cup final ever – overcoming West Ham on penalties after the game was tied 3-3.

This weekend which big name team will fall, which team of semi-pros will gain glory, and in the long run, who will raise the FA cup trophy at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff in May, the traditional end of the football season?


  • the equivalent of – the same as (but in a different context)
    e.g. The Emperor’s Cup in Japan is the equivalent of the FA Cup in England.
  • the double – a team that has won both major domestic trophies(Cup and League) have won the double.
    e.g. Urawa Reds have won the double in Japan.
  • hammered – to thrash a team, to defeat them easily (4-0 or more)
    e.g. Reading thrashed West Ham 6-0 on New Year’s Day.
  • scissor kick – an overhead kick
    e.g. Peter Crouch scored with a scissor kick against Bolton recently.
  • non-league team – a team that does not belong to the top 4 professional divisions.
    e.g. There are two non-league teams in the FA Cup 3rd Round this weekend.
  • minnows – small, weak team (usually from a lower league) e.g. Macclesfield are the minnows against Chelsea
  • (to cause an) upset – to create a shock, to beat a big team. e.g. It would be fantastic if Macclesfield caused an upset against Chelsea.
  • big guns – big teams
    e.g. The big guns have recently dominated the FA Cup.
  • disqualified – thrown out of a competition, not allowed to play
    e.g. Bury were disqualified from the FA Cup for breaking the rules.
  • a classic tie – a game that represents the competition well.
    e.g. Macclesfield against Chelsea is a classic FA Cup tie.
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football


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