Stories from England, France, Argentina, Iraq and Brazil all feature on this week’s good, the bad and the ugly on languagecaster’s football podcast. Click on the links below to find out more on all of these stories. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the page.
Liverpool keep the race for the Premier League Championship interesting by demolishing Manchester United 4-1 in United’s backyard. Torres was devastating for the Reds as he humiliated Vidic and scored the all-important equaliser after United had gone ahead with a penalty. Benitez was right to praise Liverpool’s team spirit after the game as every player played as a unit to neutralise their opponents’ midfield and attack. The victory means Liverpool have done the double over both Chelsea and United this season, and capped a great week of football for them coming as it did after beating Real Madrid 4-0 in the Champions League.
Despite that defeat, Manchester United are still well clear at the top of the table, as are Inter Milan in Italy and Barcelona in Spain, with all three championships seemingly wrapped up. But there is lots of excitement in two of the other big leagues in Europe, namely Germany, where any one of five teams can still win the Bundesliga title and, rather surprisingly, in France where only 4 points separate the top 6 teams. For the past 7 years, Lyon have dominated Ligue 1 and, though they are leading at the moment, their advantage is only one point. The Lyon side have their lost their last 4 games in all competitions and are being chased by Marseilles, a resurgent Paris St. Germain, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lille. It should be an exciting run-in in Ligue 1.
It’s bad for Aston Villa as their push for a Champions League spot has started to stutter. A few months back they were in third place and people were even talking about them winning the league, but since February they have played six games and lost four of them, drawn one, and only won a single game. Last Sunday, Tottenham were the latest team to beat the Midlands side, scoring two goals at Villa Park. To make things worse, the Villa fans booed their striker Agbonlahor when he was substituted after a disappointing display, and Aston Villa have Liverpool and Manchester United to come. A bad run of form indeed.
Staying in England, there was plenty of bad blood when Arsenal took on Hull City in a FA Cup 5th Round replay at The Emirates Stadium in London. Arsenal won thanks to a controversial late goal but most of the attention turned to the accusations from Hull City that the non-playing captain of the Gunners, Cesc Fabregas, spat at the visiting team’s coach, Brian Horton. The FA have been notified so we should expect a decision some time in the summer of 2012.
There are bad misses and then there are the misses by Gremio’s striker Jonas. A hat trick. The first was a good save but the second and third attempts were inexcusable. Watch them here. Gremio went on to win the match against Colombia’s Boyaca Chico in the Copa Libertadores, but I bet Jonas took some flack in the changing room after the game.
Haider Hakem, an Iraqi footballer playing for Annana, was shot dead as a match ended against Annana’s rivals Sinjar. The BBC reported the player was shot by opposing fans as he was about to equalise, while other reports suggest it was Annana fans celebrating the 1-0 victory with gunfire that accidentally shot the player. Either way, pretty ugly, especially as last month a leading Iraqi footballer, Ahmed Shallal, was shot dead on the way to his club by unknown assailants.
Football fan violence is nothing new in Argentina but this time it involved fans from the same club. The violence broke out among factions of the Boca Juniors fan base and unfortunately two bystanders were shot, one of whom was an 85-year woman. Pretty ugly indeed.
Here are some of the words from the good, the bad and the ugly section from this week’s show. You can download the podcast here
demolishing Completely destroying; beating easily
Torres was devastating for the Reds Torres played very well; he was unstoppable
the all-important equaliser A very important goal to level the scores (e.g. 1-1)
have done the double To beat a team twice in the same season (home and away)
capped a great week Topped off;
seemingly wrapped up Appears to be finished; looks like the title has already been won
a resurgent Paris St. Germain PSG are playing well again at the moment
run-in The final set of matches
to stutterTo not play in a fluent or fluid manner; not smooth
bad run of formTo not be playing well for a long time; have not won for a long time.
bad blood Bad feeling between two teams
Arsenal took on Hull City Arsenal played Hull City; versus
controversial late goal A disputed late goal; The goal was not accepted by the other team
spat at the visiting team’s coach To spit – to deliberately eject saliva from the mouth at someone
A hat trickThree goals (usually); here it refers to three misses
were inexcusable Cannot be excused; it seemed easier to score, unforgivable
took some flack Took some stick; was teased about it
to equalise To score a goal to level the game
unknown assailants People that attacked him were not known
violence broke out The aggression started (quite quickly and without warning)
factions Groups within a group; splinters; smaller divisions
bystandersPeople standing nearby