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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A Blue New Year, Mosquitos and Liverpool

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In this week’s review of the footballing action, we congratulate Manchester City, wonder how Ronaldo picked up a nasty illness and spotlight Liverpool’s controversial defence of their banned Uruguayan striker, Suarez. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.

The Good

Good for Manchester City as they come through the Christmas and New Year feast of football top of the pile – despite dropping points at West Bromwich Albion and losing at Sunderland. They sit three points clear of their rivals Manchester United on 48 points. Worryingly for the top-of-the-table chasing pack, the Blues brushed aside Liverpool 3-0 without ever getting into their stride and losing the shots count 10 to 18. They also got those three goals against the best defence in the league. In their last five home games they have racked up 15 goals and only conceded 2. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for Mancini’s men at Eastlands!

The Bad

We spoke about Ronaldo’s retirement from the game in last week’s main reports and it now transpires that the former World Cup star is suffering from dengue fever , a disease that is caused by mosquito bites. Ronaldo had been visiting a resort town in the north east of Brazil when he contracted the disease but according to his twitter account he is recuperating well. Languagecaster wishes him a speedy recovery.

The Ugly

suarezLiverpool Football Club have decided not to appeal the English FA’s eight-game ban on Luis Suarez for abusing Patrice Evra with racist language. That should be good news, and yet the Merseyside club also released a statement criticising the decision again, defending their player publically again, and refusing to apologise and accept the decision gracefully. When they sent the team out to warm up before their game against Wigan wearing T-shirts in support of Suarez, many neutral football fans decided that was a step too far, and they were joined by many Liverpool fans, too. The club’s latest belligerent attitude is sure to diminish the standing of Liverpool FC even more. Ugly statement and ugly for the club.


top of the pile: in first place; on top of the league; in top spot

chasing pack: teams just behind the leaders; teams that are closest in points to the leaders

brush aside: easily beat; defeat comfortably

get into (their) stride: play to their potential; play well; find their rhythm

rack up: score, accumulate, collect

Eastlands: Manchester City FC’s stadium

ban: a decision to stop a player or team from playing any matches; a punishment

Merseyside: a region in north-west England based around the city of Liverpool. Everton and Liverpool are two Merseyside clubs

warm up: get ready for a game; stretch your muscles

belligerent: unapologetic, stubborn, agressive

diminish (someone/something’s) standing: reduce prestige; make less respected


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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