break down a defenceWhat is the meaning of the phrase ‘to break down a defence’ in football? Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

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Break down a defence

This week’s English for football is the phrase ‘to break down a defence’ which is used when one team is attacking another team. Often in football one side will defend in numbers (to defend deeply) making it hard for their opponents to get close to the goal. The attacking team then has to try and find a way of creating chances that will lead to a goal and this is called trying to break down a defence.

  • Example: Bayern Munich could not break down the Benfica defence in their first leg match
  • Example: Barcelona eventually broke down the Atletico defence when Suarez opened the scoring.

If you have any suggestions for words or phrases from football that you would like explained, let us know by contacting us here. While you are on our site, why not check out the glossary page too, for hundreds more football words and phrases.

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

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