In this week’s review section we look back at some of the big stories from the world of football to help learners of English improve their vocabulary. This week we congratulate underdogs Bradford City, worry about Barcelona and a Swansea City ball boy. You can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
[print_link] | Subscribe: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Congratulations to Premier League side Swansea City and to League Two team Bradford City on reaching the Capital One Cup final (formerly the League Cup) after defeating Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively. Although Swansea managed to qualify for a major cup final for the first time in the club’s history, it was the 4-3 win on aggregate by fourth-tier Bradford against Premier League side Villa that captured all the headlines. The team has won a major trophy before – back in 1911 – but if they were to win the League Cup at the end of February then it would cap a fairy tale season, one that has seen them defeat Premier League sides Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa to reach the final.
We’re not really worried about Barcelona but the Catalan side lost their first game of the season after a remarkable record of 19 matches unbeaten that included 18 wins. They were beaten by Real Sociedad 3-2 after going two goals ahead (Messi scored for the record-equalling tenth time in succession) but were pegged back by the Basque club after Barca were reduced to ten men when Pique was sent off. The runaway leaders are still 8 points clear at the top of La Liga so are still red-hot favourites to win the title but for just a moment it seemed that Barcelona were having a bad moment in their season.
With ten minutes remaining in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final, Chelsea were unable to break down Swansea and so frustration crept in. When a Swansea ball boy held on to the ball in an attempt to deliberately time waste. Chelsea’s Belgian star Edin Hazard kicked the ball boy so as to get the ball back in play resulting in a red card for Hazard for violent conduct. Pretty ugly indeed.
League Two: The Fourth tier of English football (formerly Division 4)
Capital One Cup: The third most important trophy in England (formerly the League Cup)
on aggregate: In total – the number of goals over two matches
fourth-tier: The fourth division. In England it is known as Division 2.
cap a fairy tale season: An unbelievable season
going two goals ahead: Leading by two goals
in succession: In a row; consecutively
were pegged back: The team came back; staged a comeback
red-hot favourites: Extreme favourites (clear)
violent conduct: Aggressive behaviour
ball boy: The young boy (or girl) whose job is to return the ball into play
to break down: To breach, to overcome the defence