Barcelona in the Bernabeu and back from the brink, Birmingham bounce back and bad boy Barton all feature on this week’s good, the bad and the ugly section of 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.
Barcelona demolished their rivals Real Madrid 6-2 in the Bernabeu to all but secure La Liga title. The Catalan side are now 7 points clear with only 4 games left but it was the performance that everyone after the game was talking about. Madrid were appalling, tactically naive but they were at home, they were undefeated in 18 matches while Barcelona were missing key defenders and even went a goal down. It didn’t matter as Xavi and Iniesta embarrassed the Madrid midfield and Henry, Eto’o and Messi tormented the aging Madrid defence. 6-2 it finished but it could have been much more to leave all Cules in footballing heaven. Surely they could not top that? Well, a 93rd minute wonder-strike from midfield marvel Andres Iniesta to equalise against Chelsea in the Champions League meant that the Catalan side are on course for an unprecedented treble – La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
Congratulations to Birmingham and Wolves who have both been promoted to the Premier League. The Blues from Birmingham bounce straight back after only one season in the Championship while Wolves return after a five-year absence. Good for the Midlands region of England.
Not so good for the London region however as both Chelsea and Arsenal fail at the semi-final stage of the Champions League. Chelsea lost in the last minute against Barcelona while Arsenal were thumped by Manchester United. Still no team from the English capital has won the Champions League. Still hope for Tottenham!
It was also bad news for fans of football in the North-east of England as all three of the Premier League sides lost at the weekend to leave them in deep relegation trouble. Midddlesbrough were easily beaten by Manchester United, Newcastle received a sound thrashing from Liverpool, while Sunderland lost at home to Everton leaving them only 4 points from the drop. Newcastle and Middlesbrough play each other next week in an all-or-nothing game that will go a long way to decide which teams are relegated.
The Copa Libertadores is in chaos as the tournament reaches the knock-out stages. The health crisis in Mexico means that two of their teams are unable to host matches. Guadalajara and San Luis both squeaked into the last 16 but their games against Nacional from Uruguay and Brazil’s Sao Paolo have been postponed. The South American federation attempted to find alternative venues but first Colombia and then Chile turned down the idea. With the second legs to be played next week and the quarter-finals the week after that, it looks like a fixture pile-up for the continent’s biggest club competition.
Welcome back Joey Barton to the ugly section. The Newcastle midfielder has not played since January and despite pre-match warnings from his boss Alan Shearer he managed to get himself sent off after a reckless challenge on Liverpool’s Xavi Alonso last weekend. Barton has been told to stay away from the relegation-threatened club as well as receiving a two-week fine which means it looks like this could be the last the Geordie fans see of him. Thankfully no doubt.
Here are some of the words and phrases from the good, the bad and the ugly section from this week’s show. You can download the podcast here
demolished: Completely thrashed, easily defeated
appalling: To be really bad
went a goal down: To be losing by one goal
tormented the aging Madrid defence: To tease the old defenders from Real Madrid, to leave them in their wake
Cules: Nickname for the Barcelona fans
an unprecedented treble: A team in Spain has never won these three Cups
have both been promoted to: The two teams have gone up to the Premier League
bounce straight back: To come back immediately
the Championship: The division below the Premier League in England
deep relegation trouble: It looks like the team is going down (to be relegated)
received a sound thrashing from: To be beaten easily
4 points from the drop: To be only four points away from relegation
an all-or-nothing game: A winner takes it all match, a very important match to win
is in chaos: To be in a mess, no one knows what to do
to host matches: To be the place where the game takes place
squeaked into: To just about qualify, almost didn’t make it
postponed: The game will take place at another date
venues: The places where the games take place (stadia)
second legs: The second of two games in a knock-out competition
fixture pile-up: When there are too many games to play in a short space of time
reckless challenge: A crazy or wild tackle
a two-week fine: The player will not be paid for two weeks
Geordies: A nickname for the fans of Newcastle United