Each week the languagecaster team will explain a football phrase or cliche for learners of English who love the sport. This week we explain the phrase ‘spare your blushes‘. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase, while you can also read the transcript below that. You can also find many more examples by going to our football cliches here and our huge football glossary here.

Listen here: spare blushes.mp3

This week’s English for football phrase is ‘to spare their blushes‘. To blush is when your face turns red because you are embarrassed – perhaps you have made a mistake or people are laughing at you. To spare means to save from, to forgive. So, in football, the phrase to spare their blushes is used often when a team that is favourites to win a game against a smaller, less fancied side, avoids defeat. Perhaps they are losing, but in the final minutes they get an equalising goal. This happened this week, when Manchester United played Swiss side Basle at home. The Red Devils were losing 3-2 but in the 90th minute they scored an equaliser to spare their blushes.
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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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