This Week: Cut the gap
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: Cut the gap
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 a derby win for Manchester City, mixed fortunes for teams at the top and a good weekend for teams near the bottom.
Jack: We’re going to look at three headlines from the weekend’s action and look at some words and phrases connected to those headlines.
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 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: held to a draw, slip up, derby, chip, full debut, and cut the gap.
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: Big teams slip up as City race ahead.
Laura: It was another great weekend for Manchester City as they were comfortable 3-0 winners against Tottenham Hotspur. Meanwhile, Manchester United were held to a draw by West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool slipped up at Leicester - losing by three goals to one.
Rich: Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool’s title defence was over after the match. It’s a fight to stay in the top four now.
Jack: Manchester United are still in the race but they can’t afford any more slip-ups like the one at the weekend.
Laura: And Leicester are up there, too. Maybe they will be the main challengers to City for the rest of the season.
Rich: Let’s look at some language. We said that Manchester United were held to a draw at West Bromwich Albion.
Jack: To be held to a draw means to only draw a match when you expected to win because your opponents played much better than you thought they would.
Laura: We often use the passive structure and then the preposition by followed by the name of the other team. Manchester United were held to a draw by West Bromwich Albion.
Rich: You might also see the preposition at being used. Manchester United were held to a draw at West Brom. Here we are talking about West Brom as a club or a place, not the team.
Jack: The other item we want to look at is slip up. We said that Liverpool slipped up at Leicester and United can’t afford any more slip-ups.
Laura: To slip up means to make a mistake. It usually describes a careless mistake. Liverpool were winning 1-0 and looking comfortable but then made a few mistakes in defence and lost.
Rich: United can’t afford any more slip-ups or careless mistakes like not winning at West Brom if they want to catch Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
Jack: Let’s move on to our second headline.
Laura: City beat United to go second.
Rich: There was derby joy for Manchester City as they beat their city rivals 3-0 to move up to second place in the Women’s Super League. The pick of the goals was by Caroline Weir who chipped the keeper from outside the box to make it 3-0 to City.
Jack: It was a fantastic goal. It reminded me of an Eric Cantona goal from many years ago.
Laura: If you haven’t seen it I recommend you go to the FA Player online and watch the highlights.
Rich: The first word we want to look at is derby. A derby or a derby match is a match played between two teams from the same city or region.
Jack: Derby matches usually have names based around their location. City beat United 3-0 in the Manchester Derby.
Laura: Here are three other Premier League derby matches. If you know the teams involved let us know in the comments section.
Rich: The Merseyside Derby, the North London Derby and the Black Country Derby.
Jack: The second word we want to look at is chip.
Rich: I love chips.
Jack: Not those kinds of chips, Rich. In football, a chip is when you kick under the ball to make it go in the air such as over the head of the goalkeeper.
Laura: It can be a noun or a verb. Caroline Weir chipped the keeper. She scored with a brilliant chip.
Jack: Let’s move on to our final headline.
Rich: Fulham still fighting at the bottom.
Jack: Fulham got their first win since November with an impressive 2-0 away win at Everton. Josh Maja got both goals on his full debut as the London team cut the gap to safety to seven points.
Laura: It’s the first time Fulham have won a league match at Everton at the 28th time of asking.
Rich: Still a long way to go for Fulham but signs of life at last. In fact, it was a good weekend for teams at the bottom as all the teams in the bottom six that played picked up points.
Jack: Let’s look at some language. I said that Josh Maja scored on his full debut.
Laura: A player’s full debut is when they are named in the starting eleven for the first time. Maja had played as a substitute before but had never started a match.
Rich: The other phrase I want to look at is to cut the gap. Fulham have cut the gap to safety to seven points.
Jack: Fulham are in the relegation zone at the moment but after this win they are closer to the teams that are outside the relegation zone.
Laura: Before this match, they were 10 points behind the team above them and now they are only seven points behind. They have cut the gap.
Rich: OK. We’ve looked at three stories and lots of vocabulary in our headlines. The words and phrases we’ve looked at were: held to a draw, slip up, derby, chip, full debut, and cut the gap.
Jack: Listen to the headlines again to hear these words and phrases in context and don’t forget to look at the website for the transcript if you want to check your understanding of this vocabulary.
Headlines - Repeat
Jack: Last week we changed who gave our predictions because Rich kept getting them wrong.
Laura: I did a much better job. Last week I went for a Manchester City win and Manchester City won.
Jack: So, Laura is going to carry on doing them for a while. What’s your prediction this week, Laura?
Laura: This weekend sees Liverpool take on Everton in the 236th Merseyside Derby. Liverpool have been slipping up recently and Everton slipped up against Fulham in their last match so these are two teams that are not in the greatest of form. Liverpool need to cut the gap on Manchester City and Everton need to cut the gap on the top four. Neither team will be too happy with my prediction but I think Everton will hold Liverpool to a draw. Final score: Liverpool 1-1 Everton.
Rich: I think you might have slipped up here, Laura. Liverpool will win this 3-0.
Jack: What do you think the score will be? We want all of you to make your predictions for this match and all the Premier League fixtures which you can find on the Premier Skills English website.
Laura: To finish up the show we’ve got a quick language challenge connected to this week’s vocabulary.
Rich: Earlier we spoke about the phrase to cut the gap. Here are three more sentences that include phrases with cut.
Jack: We’ve chosen some very difficult ones this week so good luck! Do you know the missing words?
Laura: You can’t cut ******* when a player returns from a long-term injury just because you want them back on the pitch as soon as possible.
Rich: Fulham have their work cut *** if they want to stay up this season.
Jack: Manchester City were a cut ***** Tottenham in their 3-0 win.
Laura: 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.
Jack: Before we finish we just wanted to say that we hope you found this lesson useful and we hope all of you stay fit and healthy.
Laura: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Big teams slip up as City race ahead
It was another great weekend for Manchester City as they were comfortable 3-0 winners against Tottenham Hotspur. Meanwhile, Manchester United were held to a draw by West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool slipped up at Leicester - losing by three goals to one.
City beat United to go second
There was derby joy for Manchester City as they beat their city rivals 3-0 to move up to second place in the Women’s Super League. The pick of the goals was by Caroline Weir who chipped the keeper from outside the box to make it 3-0 to City.
Fulham still fighting at the bottom
Fulham got their first win since November with an impressive 2-0 away win at Everton. Josh Maja got both goals on his full debut as the London team cut the gap to safety to seven points.
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?
Manchester United were held to a draw by West Bromwich Albion.
Liverpool slipped up at Leicester.
There was derby joy for Manchester City as they beat their city rivals 3-0.
Caroline Weir who chipped the keeper from outside the box.
Josh Maja got both goals on his full debut.
The London team cut the gap to safety to seven points.
Premier League Prediction: Liverpool v Everton
Laura thinks Everton will hold Liverpool to a draw in the Merseyside Derby but Rich doesn't think that Liverpool will slip up again. What do you think will happen in this match and all of this weekend's Premier League fixtures?
Liverpool v Everton
Fulham v Sheffield United
Wolves v Leeds United
Burnley v West Brom
Southampton v Chelsea
West Ham v Spurs
Aston Villa v Leicester City
Arsenal v Manchester City
Manchester United v Newcastle United
Brighton v Crystal Palace
Leeds v Southampton
Jack, Laura and Rich set you a language challenge. In the podcast, we said that Fulham had cut the gap to safety. Here are three more sentences which use phrases with cut. Can you guess the missing words?
You can’t cut ******* when a player returns from a long-term injury just because you want them back on the pitch as soon as possible.
Fulham still have their work cut *** if they want to stay up this season.
Manchester City were a cut ***** Tottenham in their 3-0 win.
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 slipped up at the weekend?
- Who scored with a brilliant chip?
- Who scored on their full debut?
- What are your Premier League predictions?
- Can you name the teams in the derbies we mentioned in the podcast?
- Can you do our language challenge?
Write your comments and answers in the section below.