This Week: A Tactical Masterclass
Welcome to This Week from Premier Skills English, a weekly review of football action for learners of English from across the globe. In This Week, Rich, Laura and Jack talk about the latest action from the Premier League and have lots of football English for you to learn.
This Week: A Tactical Masterclass
Laura: Hello my name’s Laura and welcome to our weekly round-up section called ‘This Week’ on Premier Skills English.
Jack: Hi there. I’m Jack. We’ve got lots of interesting words and phrases to help you talk about football in English.
Rich: My name’s Rich. If you want to listen and read at the same time we have a transcript of this podcast on the Premier Skills English website.
Laura: This week we focus on the new top three in the Premier League.
Jack: We’re going to look at three headlines from this weekend’s action and after each, we’ll look at a couple of useful phrases.
Rich: We want you to use and practise these words and phrases by interacting with Premier League fans from around the world in our comments section.
Laura: If you listen to us on Apple Podcasts, you can leave your comments in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you.
Jack: You can find all of our latest content on the Premier Skills English homepage or the Premier Skills-British Council Facebook page.
Rich: The words and phrases we are looking at this week are: a tactical masterclass, a disciplined defensive performance, momentum, to cruise to victory, ooze and umpteen.
Laura: Later on we’ll also have a language challenge for you to have a go at so you need to be ready for that.
Jack: Tottenham beat City to go top.
Laura: Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur produced a tactical masterclass to go to the top of the Premier League table. Spurs beat Manchester City 2-0 with the goals coming from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso. City had most of the possession but a disciplined defensive performance coupled with efficiency in front of goal secured all three points for the London club.
Rich: Yes, it was a true Mourinho performance. Tottenham scored with their only shots on target.
Jack: And Mourinho said Tottenham are not fighting for the title after the match.
Laura: I think he was probably playing things down there.
Rich: That’s a nice phrasal verb to play something down. It means to make something seem less important than it really is.
Jack: That Tottenham win sent Spurs to the top of the table. I think they are fighting for the title despite what the manager says.
Laura: Let’s look at a couple of phrases from the headline. I described Tottenham’s performance as a tactical masterclass.
Rich: If something is tactical it has been carefully planned previously. Managers decide the tactics - how a team will play. Jose Mourinho did a good job in this match.
Jack: Yes, Laura described it as a masterclass. A master class is a lesson which is given by an expert. Mourinho gave this tactical masterclass to everyone who was watching his team.
Laura: Our second phrase is a disciplined defensive performance. The keyword here is disciplined. If someone is disciplined they are good at following rules and showing control over their behaviour.
Rich: Mourinho asked his team to be very disciplined in defence and not to go forward too much. It was a disciplined defensive performance.
Jack: Let’s move on to our second headline.
Laura: Liverpool on the charge despite injuries.
Rich: Another team with momentum are reigning champions Liverpool who comfortably beat Leicester City by three goals to nil. The Reds who were without a number of players through injury and Mohamed Salah who has COVID-19 cruised to victory. An unfortunate own goal opened the scoring, Diogo Jota scored again and Roberto Firmino headed home the third. Liverpool are now second in the table.
Jack: Diogo Jota scored in his first four home matches for Liverpool. That’s the first time a new signing has done that for the Reds.
Laura: He’s looking like a very good signing.
Rich: Let’s look at some language from the headline. We said that Liverpool have momentum. This is a very important word in the world of sports.
Jack: Momentum describes continuing progress that keeps getting faster or stronger.
Laura: A team wins one match and then another and the season starts gathering momentum. We often describe a team with momentum as being difficult to stop.
Rich: We use it outside of sports, too. An idea or issue can gather momentum. An idea or protest might start with a small group of people but can gather momentum and soon there can be thousands or even millions talking about the issue.
Jack: Our second bit of vocabulary from the headline is to cruise to victory. It means to win a match easily.
Laura: Rich said Liverpool cruised to victory. We could also say things like cruised to the win or cruised to the three points or cruised to the finish line.
Rich: The word comes from cruising on a boat. When we cruise somewhere we are travelling at a leisurely pace. It is slow and easy as we’re on holiday.
Jack: Let’s move on to our third headline.
Rich: Chelsea are in the hunt at the top.
Jack: Chelsea oozed quality as they beat Newcastle two-nil to go third in the Premier League after a fifth win a row in all competitions. An own-goal opened the scoring and Chelsea had umpteen chances before they finally finished off a disappointing Newcastle when Tammy Abraham got Chelsea’s second.
Laura: A good performance by Chelsea. They’re scoring lots of goals and hardly conceding any - that was another clean sheet.
Rich: Yes, they’re looking good. Let’s look at a couple of words from that headline. These are more unusual words that you might not have heard before but I do see them regularly when talking about football.
Jack: The first is to ooze. I said that Chelsea oozed quality in their win against Newcastle. Ooze means to show a lot of a certain aspect or character. Chelsea showed a lot of quality - it seemed to come out of the team naturally.
Laura: We might use other nouns like charm, character, and style when we use ooze. James Bond oozes charm. The old country house oozes character with its traditional wooden beams and roof. The modern new bar in town just oozes style.
Rich: The other word we want to look at is umpteen. We said that Chelsea missed umpteen chances before they scored a second. Umpteen is a general word that means a lot of.
Jack: The strongest collocation in football is probably this one with chances. A team or player missed umpteen chances in the match.
Laura: OK. We’ve looked at three stories and six bits of vocabulary in our headlines. The words and phrases we’ve looked at are: a tactical masterclass, a disciplined defensive performance, momentum, to cruise to victory, ooze and umpteen.
Jack: Don’t forget to look at the website for the transcript if you want to check your understanding of this vocabulary.
Rich: It’s time for this week’s Premier League prediction. Laura didn’t do so well last week. She predicted a draw between Liverpool and Leicester but Liverpool cruised to victory.
Laura: Yeah, the result was probably a bit of a reality check for Leicester. It’s your turn this week, Jack and there’s a big London derby, isn’t there?
Jack: Yes, this weekend sees Chelsea take on Tottenham. It’s not just a London derby but also a top of the table clash with Chelsea in third and Spurs at the top. Both teams go into this one in fine form with both teams scoring lots of goals and with strong defences. I was really impressed with Spurs and their win against Manchester City last weekend so for that reason, I’m going to go with Tottenham. It could be another tactical masterclass from Jose Mourinho. Final score: Chelsea 0-1 Tottenham.
Rich: A London derby, two closely matched teams this has got draw written all over it. One all.
Laura: We want all of you to make your predictions for this match and all the Matchweek 10 fixtures on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: To finish up the show we’ve got a quick language challenge connected to this week’s vocabulary.
Rich: Earlier we looked at the phrasal verb to play down. Jose Mourinho played down Tottenham’s title chances after that win against Manchester City.
Laura: We’ve got three more sentences that include phrases with play. We want you to write the missing word in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: That was definitely a foul. I can’t believe the referee told them to play _____.
Rich: Chelsea are playing ________ Tottenham this weekend.
Laura: Arsenal like to play the ball _____ from the back.
Jack: We want you to write the answers on the Premier Skills English website where we have some more questions and activities connected to this week’s show.
Rich: Or write your answer on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us. Just write the answers in the review section and say hi.
Laura: Before we finish we just wanted to say that we hope you found this lesson useful and we hope that all of you stay fit and healthy.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Tottenham beat City to go top
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur produced a tactical masterclass to go to the top of the Premier League table. Spurs beat Manchester City 2-0 with the goals coming from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso. City had most of the possession but a disciplined defensive performance coupled with efficiency in front of goal secured all three points for the London club.
Liverpool on the charge despite injuries
Another team with momentum are reigning champions Liverpool who comfortably beat Leicester City by three goals to nil. The Reds who were without a number of players through injury and Mohamed Salah who has COVID-19 cruised to victory. An unfortunate own goal opened the scoring, Diogo Jota scored again and Roberto Firmino headed home the third. Liverpool are now second in the table.
Chelsea are in the hunt at the top
Chelsea oozed quality as they beat Newcastle two-nil to go third in the Premier League after a fifth win a row in all competitions. An own-goal opened the scoring and Chelsea had umpteen chances before they finally finished off a disappointing Newcastle when Tammy Abraham got Chelsea’s second.
Language in the headlines
We looked at six words and phrases in our headlines that you can learn to improve your English. Take a look at the phrases in bold. Do you understand what they mean?
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur produced a tactical masterclass to go to the top of the Premier League table.
A disciplined defensive performance secured all three points for the London club.
Another team with momentum are reigning champions Liverpool.
The Reds who were without a number of players through injury cruised to victory.
Chelsea oozed quality as they beat Newcastle two-nil .
Chelsea had umpteen chances before they finally finished off a disappointing Newcastle.
Premier League Predictions: Chelsea v Tottenham
Chelsea host Tottenham in Matchweek 10 and Jack has made this week's prediction. Here are the other Premier League fixtures for Matchweek 10:
Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Brighton v Liverpool
Manchester City v Burnley
Everton v Leeds
West Brom v Sheffield United
Southampton v Manchester United
Chelsea v Tottenham
Arsenal v Wolves
Leicester v Fulham
West Ham v Aston Villa
Talk about the matches and make your predictions in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Jack, Laura and Rich set you a language challenge. In the podcast, Laura said Jose Mourinho was just playing down Tottenham's chances. Here are three more football sentences which include phrases with play. Can you guess the missing words?
That was definitely a foul. I can’t believe the referee told them to play _____.
Chelsea are playing ________ Tottenham this weekend.
Arsenal like to play the ball _____ from the back.
Write the correct answer in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Talk about the headlines
Jack, Laura and Rich looked at three stories in the news and some vocabulary that might be new to you. Now it's your turn! Have a look at the questions and write your answers in the comments section below.
- Who gave a tactical masterclass at the weekend?
- Which teams have momentum at the moment?
- Which teams cruised to victory in matchweek 9?
- Talk about this week's Premier League matches and make your predictions.
- Can you do our language challenge?
Write your comments and answers in the section below.