Matchweek 1: On our way
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, Jack and Rich talk about the latest action from the Premier League and have lots of football English for you to learn.
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to our weekly round-up section called ‘This Week’ on Premier Skills English.
Rich: Hi there. I’m Rich. We’ve got lots of interesting words and phrases to help you talk about football in English.
Jack: We want you to use and practise these phrases by interacting with Premier League fans from around the world in our comments section.
Rich: If you listen to us on Spotify or 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 new Premier League season has kicked off so let’s start with our headlines!
Jack: City hammer the Irons.
Rich: Manchester City started the season as they finished the last: on fire. A Raheem Sterling hat-trick, a Gabriel Jesus opener and a retaken penalty from Sergio Aguero gave City all three points against West Ham in the capital.
Jack: The Reds silence the Canaries.
Rich: Liverpool opened the Premier League season against Premier League new boys, Norwich City and they didn’t disappoint. The Reds were 4-0 up by half-time; an own goal set them on their way followed by strikes from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi. The second half was more encouraging for Norwich and they grabbed a consolation through Teemu Pukki as it finished 4-1 to the hosts.
Jack: Rashford & co sink Chelsea.
Rich: Manchester United thrashed Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 who suffered their biggest opening day defeat in their entire history. Two goals from Marcus Rashford, one from Antony Martial and a debut goal from Daniel James gave United their biggest home win against Chelsea since 1965. Despite the margin of defeat, Lampard will see some positives; Chelsea hit the woodwork twice, created chances and David De Gea make some decent saves.
Jack: What a brilliant start to the season; there was also a come from behind win for Tottenham, big wins for Burnley and Brighton and a great away win for Arsenal.
Rich: Yes, the Premier League season is definitely up and running.
Jack: In our vocabulary alert, we look at some football English that we used in the headlines.
Rich: Our six words and phrases this week are: to hammer, a retaken penalty, to be on your way, a consolation, margin of defeat and to hit the woodwork.
Jack: Let’s start with to hammer. In general, to hammer means to hit something with a hammer - a hammer is a tool with a handle and a heavy metal head that you use to hit things such as nails into wood. We’ll come back to this meaning in a minute.
Rich: It also means to hit something many times in a very hard way; you might hammer on a door to wake someone up. Also, you can hammer a football. The ball was hammered into the top corner; it describes a very hard shot.
Jack: And finally, it can mean to defeat very easily. Manchester City hammered West Ham 5-0. City beat them easily.
Rich: And then, of course, one of West Ham’s nicknames is the Hammers and the other is the Irons so we said City hammer the Irons.
Jack: We could have said City hammer the Hammers but we thought this was too much!
Rich: OK, the next phrase is a retaken penalty. This is when a player scores or misses a penalty but the referee says the player must take the penalty a second time.
Jack: This might be because other players are in the penalty area, the goalkeeper is not on his line or the referee hadn’t blown his whistle.
Rich: We might see more retaken penalties this season because of VAR.
Jack: Our next phrase is to be on your way. This phrase means to be on a journey or to have started a journey. We often use it in a simple way with friends. Listen:
Rich: Hey Jack! The match has started already. Are you on your way?
Jack: Yep, I’m on my way. I’ll be with you in 10 minutes.
Rich: We can also use it in less obvious ways. In a football match, we can say the first goal set a team on their way to victory.
Jack: The next phrase is a consolation goal or just a consolation. This is a goal that a team scores when they are losing badly and will not get back into the match.
Rich: Norwich were losing 4-0 when they got a consolation goal. The final score was 4-1.
Jack: The next phrase we used in the headlines was margin of defeat. This describes the number of goals you lose a match by. Chelsea lost 4-0 so the margin of defeat was four.
Rich: The two most common phrases are margin of defeat or margin of victory. You often hear commentators saying things like the margin of defeat could have been greater or worse if the team had taken all their chances.
Jack: Our final phrase is to hit the woodwork. The woodwork is the goal or frame of the goal: the two posts and the crossbar.
Rich: In the past, goals were made of wood but they are usually made from metal these days but we still use the phrase when a player hits the post or the crossbar.
Jack: OK, so there are our six words and phrases. Listen to this part of the podcast again if you are not sure how to use them.
Rich: The words and phrases are: to hammer, a retaken penalty, to be on your way, a consolation, margin of defeat and to hit the woodwork.
Jack: Right, every week, we give out three Matchweek awards.
Rich: The awards are Player of the Week, Team of the Week and Goal of the Week.
Jack: In the comments section, you need to tell us if you agree with our choices.
Rich: Let’s start with Player of the Week. Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane both grabbed doubles on the opening day. Harry Maguire had a great debut for Manchester United. But our Player of the Week goes to Manchester CIty’s Raheem Sterling.
Jack: A hat-trick on the opening day of the Premier League season. The first player to do that since Didier Drogba for Chelsea in 2010. What a start!
Rich: The next award is for Team of the Week. We could go for Liverpool’s hammering of Norwich or maybe Brighton’s 3-0 win at Watford. We probably should choose City’s 5-0 away demolition of West Ham.
Jack: But our Team of the Week is Manchester United. 4-0 winners against Chelsea and United’s biggest home win over Chelsea for over 50 years. Not a bad start to the season for the Red Devils.
Rich: Finally, our Goal of the Week. We’re going to leave this one to you. We’re going to give you three options and you need to tell us which you think was best. Jack.
Jack: Goal number one: Marcus Rashford for Manchester United against Chelsea. A sublime pass from Paul Pogba set Rashford up and the striker finished cooly for his second goal of the game.
Rich: Goal number two: Tanguy Ndombele for Tottenham Hotspur against Aston Villa. A beautiful curling strike into the bottom corner that made the score 1-1. A great goal for the Fench international on his Premier League debut.
Jack: Goal number three: Raheem Sterling for Manchester City against West Ham. Sterling’s second goal was a cool as you like chip over the goalkeeper on his way to an opening day hat-trick.
Rich: Right, OK. Those are our three options. Did you see them? Which do you think was the best? Let us know your choice and if you agree with our other weekly awards in our comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: Every week, Rich predicts the result of one Premier League match and we want you to make your prediction, too.
Rich: Make your predictions on the Premier Skills English website in the comments section and talk about the big match at the same time!
Jack: There are some big matches in Matchweek 2 but probably none bigger than Manchester City against Tottenham.
Rich: You’re right! Another early-season matchup between two of last season’s top four as the Premier League Champions take on the Champions League runners up. Both teams had good opening day wins although Spurs had to come from behind to beat Aston Villa. Now, most people will probably be predicting a home win for City but I think if teams are going to stop City they have a better chance earlier in the season. Maybe City are not at 100% yet and despite winning 5-0 at West Ham the margin of victory was a little generous. I think Spurs are going to grab a draw in this one. Kane to score and Mahrez to equalise. Final score: Manchester City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for. I hope you have enjoyed this football round-up. Join the discussion at the bottom of the page on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: If you listen to us on Apple Podcasts, don’t forget to leave us a review. We’d love to hear from you.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Liverpool 4-1 Norwich City
West Ham 0-5 Manchester City
Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United
Burnley 3-0 Southampton
Manchester Utd 4-0 Chelsea
Leicester City 0-0 Wolves
Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton
Watford 0-3 Brighton
Tottenham 3-1 Aston Villa
Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal
City hammer the Irons
Manchester City started the season as they finished the last: on fire. A Raheem Sterling hat-trick, a Gabriel Jesus opener and a retaken penalty from Sergio Aguero gave City all three points in against West Ham in the capital.
The Reds Silence the Canaries
Liverpool opened the Premier League season against Premier League new boys, Norwich City and they didn’t disappoint. The Reds were 4-0 up by half-time; an own goal set them on their way followed by strikes from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi. The second half was more encouraging for Norwich and they grabbed a consolation through Teemu Pukki as it finished 4-1 to the hosts.
Rashford & co sink Chelsea
Manchester United thrashed Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 who suffered their biggest opening day defeat in their entire history. Two goals from Marcus Rashford, one from Antony Martial and a debut goal from Daniel James gave United their biggest home win against Chelsea since 1965. Despite the margin of defeat, Lampard will see some positives; Chelsea hit the woodwork twice, created chances and David De Gea make some decent saves.
We looked at six pieces of football English that you can learn to improve your English. Take a look at the phrases in bold. Do you understand what they mean?
Manchester City hammered West Ham 5-0. To hammer a team means to defeat them very easily.
Sergio Aguero scored a retaken penalty. This is when a player scores or misses a penalty but the referee says the player must take the penalty a second time.
Gabriel Jesus set City on their way. To be on your way means to have started a journey.
Norwich were losing 4-0 when they got a consolation goal. This is a goal that a team scores when they are losing badly and will not get back into the match.
The margin of victory was a little generous. This phrase describes the number of goals you lose a match by. Chelsea lost 4-0 so the margin of defeat was four.
Chelsea hit the woodwork twice. The woodwork is the frame of the goal: the crossbar and the two posts.
Can you use the words in bold in a different sentence? Write a sentence at the bottom of the page. If you're not sure, listen to the audio for more explanations and examples.
Do you agree with our choices?
Player of the Week: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Team of the Week: Manchester United
Goal of the Week: Look at the three options from Matchweek 1 and let us know which goal was best in the comments section!
Marcus Rashford for Manchester United against Chelsea.
Tanguy Ndombele for Tottenham Hotspur against Aston Villa.
Raheem Sterling for Manchester City against West Ham.
The Big Match
Manchester City v Tottenham
The big match this weekend is another early-season clash between two of last season's top four. Manchester City play Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad. Rich thinks Spurs will grab a draw. Do you agree?
What are your predictions? Have a listen to what Rich says and then make your prediction and talk about the match below.
What do you think?
Jack and Rich have spoken about the opening weekend in the Premier League. Now it's your turn! Have a look at the questions and write your answers in the comments section below.
- Rich and Jack chose Manchester City's Raheem Sterling as Player of the Week. Do you agree?
- Jack and Rich selected Manchester United as their Team of the Week. Do you agree?
- Rich and Jack picked three goals for the Goal of the Week award? Did you see them? Which do you think was best?
- Use this week's vocabulary: Do you expect lots of teams to get hammered by Manchester City this season? Do you think penalties should be retaken if goalkeepers are a little off the goal line?
Don't forget to make your prediction for this week's Big Match!
Let's get the conversation started and create a community!