The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Tottenham, Barcelona and Gattuso

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Our football review of the week looks back at the Champions League matches in Europe. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.

The Good

A really good week for my team Tottenham as they won 2 away games in 4 days. First up, they came from behind to win 2-1 against Sunderland to move up to 4th place in the Premier League. Spurs have now won 20 points this season from losing positions which may show a weakness in defence but it also shows a great spirit exists in the camp. This spirit was demonstrated yet again when they defeated 7-times European Cup winners AC Milan 1-0 in the San Siro on Tuesday. Peter Crouch scored the winner and Tottenham now have a really good chance of making the last 8.

The Bad

It has not been the best of weeks for reigning Spanish champions Barcelona after they were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Sporting Gijon in a La Liga game last weekend. The Catalan side had been hoping to extend their winning run to 16 games but instead had to settle for a draw – they equalised near the end of the game through a wonderful David Villa chip. They then lost to Arsenal 1-2 in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League game after having gone ahead through another David Villa goal. Is this week a turning point in their season or simply a blip?

The Ugly

Richard Williams in the Guardian newspaper suggested that AC Milan’s performance in their 0-1 defeat at home to Spurs sullied the history of the club – ‘drag the aristocracy into the gutter and shame the San Siro’ were his exact words. Though this may be somewhat of an exaggeration the famous old club did not cover themselves in glory, especially their captain Gattuso who seemed to lose the plot, first by squaring up to Peter Crouch and then by facing off with Tottenham’s coach, Joe Jordan. This was not the ugliest part of this match, however, this was former Arsenal player Flamini’s two-footed challenge on Spurs defender Corluka, which was simply shocking. Ugly all round from Milan.


First up: First of all

a great spirit exists in the camp:

reigning Spanish champions: The current holders

a blip: A small problem, nothing too serious

the aristocracy: Royalty (Milan are viewed as a club with history and tradition)

the gutter: The lowest place to fall; the place in the street where waste collects.

did not cover themselves in glory: A euphemism for not behaving very well

seemed to lose the plot: To go a little crazy

squaring up to: Looking to start a fight

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The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 174