Congratulations to Dortmund on winning the Bundesliga title, poor refereeing decisions allow Chelsea a chance of catching Man Utd in England, while a racism row is brewing in France. These stories appear on this week’s good, bad and ugly – for all learners of English who love football. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
Well done to Dortmund! Jurgen Klopp’s side sealed the title with a 2-0 victory over Nurnburg and with two games to spare. The Westphalian team managed an average of 2 goals a game, lost only four times, and more importantly didn’t bottle it in the home straight when the pressure was on. They became the youngest team to ever win the Bundesliga, an average age of 24, and it was Dortmund’s seventh title. 80,000 fans were on hand to witness their team’s triumph. Now, can AC Milan, Lille and Manchester United to the same thing and secure the titles before the last games?
While all was good in the Bundesliga for Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League must feel as though they had three points taken away from them. They deservedly went 1-0 up at Stanford Bridge against title contenders, Chelsea, with a fantastic strike from Sandro – a real belter! However two dreadful decisions from the officials saw the lead overturned. First, after a goalkeeping howler from Gomez, the ball was incorrectly called as having crossed the line – it nearly did but replays clearly showed some of the ball was on the line as Gomez desperately hauled the ball back. That made it 1-1. Then as the game looked set to end in a draw with an important point for Spurs, the officials again made a blunder, this time not seeing that Kalou was offside when he stroked home Drogba’s miss hit. An undeserved loss for Tottenham and more calls for technology in the game.
A very interesting story from France this week concerning comments made by French national team coach Laurent Blanc and other French football federation oficials concerning racial quotas. It seems that race may play a part in the decisions over whether a young player can join the French footballing academies or not, with some reports suggesting that this number could be capped at 30%. A leaked taped recording of a meeting in which Blanc took part appears to suggest that the coach of Les Bleus agrees with this viewpoint raising some interesting debates over this matter. Indeed, if a debate on the issue is started then maybe this will not be an ugly story but instead something positive in the fight against racism.
the home straight: the final games, the last part of the season
be on hand: be there, be able to witness something
a belter: a great goal, usually from a long distance
overturned: reversed, changed
blunder: mistake, error
stroke home: score from close range, hitting the ball with control