Week 40: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Domestic cup winners from around Europe, the Player of the Year announced in England, crisis at Arsenal, fans on the pitch, drunken fights and stroppy behaviour off it, all feature in this week’s look at the footballing news in the 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, along with quizzes to help you practice.

The Good

It’s the time of year for the domestic cups to be decided around Europe and so it was good for the Rome team, Lazio, who came out on top in a penalty shoot-out with Sampdoria. That’s their fifth cup victory and also gives them a place in the Europa Cup next year. In Spain, it wasn’t such a surprise to see Barcelona win the Copa del Rey, but the scoreline of 4-1 may have raised a few eyebrows. The tie was effectively over for Bilbao after Barca scored three in nine minutes at the beginning of the second half. Lastly, Ligue 2 side Guingamp from Brittany won the French Cup for the first time in their history after stunning Rennes 2-1 in France with a stirring come from behind victory. Well done to those three sides.

It was also good for Steven Gerrard as he was voted the Player of the Season by sports writers across England earlier this week. He was preferred to a host of Manchester United players, such as Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs and Vidic. He has certainly enjoyed the freer role he has been given this season to rove around alongside Torres, scoring 23 goals so far (Here’s some of them). He is the first Liverpool player to win the award since John Barnes did in 1990 – the last time Liverpool were champions of Britain. Is it a sign?

The Bad

It has been a pretty bad week for Arsenal as they suffered two heavy defeats at home in only 4 days. First they were dumped out of the Champions League by Manchester United 1-3 and then on Sunday they were brushed aside by Chelsea 1-4. On both occasions the home fans left the stadium in their droves way before the final whistle. A sure sign that things are not too good at the Emirates.

While Alex Ferguson will be more than happy with Manchester United’s march to the title, he won’t be as pleased with the petulant behaviour of his star player, Ronaldo. Last weekend, the Portuguese wonder kid was substituted during the game with Manchester City. The match was pretty much over at 2-0 to the Red Devils and perhaps Fergie wanted to save the winger’s strength for the end of the season. However, Ronaldo showed how unhappy he was by snatching and throwing to the floor his tracksuit top and sitting on the bench shaking his head. Perhaps it’s a tactic to get Fergie to let him go to Real Madrid in the summer. Who knows.

The Ugly

The play-offs to decide which teams are promoted next season in England are taking place at the moment and perhaps the most highly-charged affair is the League 1 semi-final between Leeds and Millwall. When the first leg was held last weekend in east London, the home fans came on to the pitch to celebrate Millwall’s goal. with one of them arrested after throwing something at the Leeds goalkeeper. Both sets of fans have been involved in hooliganism in the past so it will be interesting to see how the second leg unfolds.

Tottenham defender Ledley King was involved in an ugly incident last Sunday outside a London nightclub. The Spurs player allegedly assaulted and injured a doorman. Alcohol, nightclubs, violence, football player, not words that go well together. It also looks as though his club may punish him further for his poor behaviour. Ugly.

Vocabulary

Here are some of the words and phrases from the good, the bad and the ugly section from this week’s show. There are also quizzes to practise the vocabulary. You can download the podcast here

Vocabulary Week 40: Online Quiz | Week 40 Quiz.pdf | Week 40: Answers.pdf

came out on top: To win, to defeat

a penalty shoot-out: A way of deciding a Cup match – usually the best of five spot kicks

the Europa Cup: The latest version of the UEFA Cup – it will start next season.

raised a few eyebrows: To cause some surprise

The tie: The game, especially a Cup game

stunning: Causing a shock

a stirring come from behind victory: To win after being down, a dramatic victory

a host of: A lot of, many

to rove around: To move freely, without any rules

to be dumped out of: To be knocked out of a competition

were brushed aside: Beaten easily

in their droves: In large numbers

petulant: Like a child

the Red Devils: The nickname of Manchester United

promoted: To move up a division, to go up

highly-charged affair: A game full of tension (on and off the pitch)

how the second leg unfolds: It will be interesting to see what happens in the second (return) match

allegedly assaulted: Has been accused of attacking someone

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 106