Matchweek 30 - Neck and Neck
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. They keep you up to date with our prediction competition 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: Let’s start with our headlines!
Jack: It’s neck and neck at the top.
Rich: Both Liverpool and Manchester City won three points in Matchweek 30 as City remain one point clear at the top. A big pat on the back goes to Raheem Sterling who got a hat-trick for City in their 3-1 win against Watford although the first goal was only awarded after a helping hand from the referee. Liverpool gave Burnley a head start but their fans left Anfield head over heels after doubles from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino gave the Reds a 4-2 win.
Jack: Gunners hand Gunner first defeat.
Rich: Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 which lifted the Gunners above their opponents and into fourth place and the final Champions League qualifying place. It was a first Premier League defeat for Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer which came straight after their win against Paris St. Germain in midweek. Granit Xhaka and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang got the goals for the Gunners.
Jack: Big wins for teams at the bottom.
Rich: There were big wins for Cardiff, Southampton, Newcastle and Brighton near the bottom but Fulham and Huddersfield look like they are in big trouble.
Jack: Keep your chins up Huddersfield and Fulham fans - you’re not down yet!
Rich: That’s easy for you to say after Arsenal’s win at the weekend!
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 all idioms connected to the body and they are: neck and neck, a pat on the back, a helping hand, a head start, head over heels, and to keep your chin up.
Jack: Let’s start with neck and neck. This idiom means to be very close or more or less level in a competition. There’s only one point between Liverpool and Manchester City so we said they are neck and neck at the top.
Rich: The next idiom is a pat on the back. When we use this idiom we are saying that someone has done something well and deserves praise. We said that Raheem Sterling deserves a big pat on the back for his hat-trick against Watford.
Jack: The next idiom is a helping hand or to give someone a helping hand. It generally means to help somebody. In the headlines, we were joking a little because the referee allowed a goal that many people think should not have been allowed.
Rich: So we said City got a helping hand from the referee.
Jack: The next idiom is a head start or to give someone a head start. It means to give someone an advantage before you start a competition or race of some kind.
Rich: We said Liverpool gave Burnley a head start because Burnley scored first - before Liverpool started playing well.
Jack: The next idiom is to be head over heels. It is often used to mean that you are totally in love. You often hear ‘I’m head over heels in love with this person or that person’.
Rich: But it can also mean really really happy. I’m so happy that I want to jump up and down and run around. Liverpool fans were head over heels after winning their match last weekend.
Jack: The final idiom is to keep your chin up. This idiom means to stay happy and not be sad even though you’re in a bad situation.
Rich: Huddersfield are bottom of the table but the fans need to keep their chins up and support their team.
Jack: Were any of the idioms new for you? See if you can use any of these idioms at the bottom of the page in the comments section.
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. There were some strong performances in Matchweek 30.
Jack: Jamie Vardy, Sadio Mane, Ayoze Perez, and Roberto Firmino all scored twice but we’re going to give our award to the player who scored three.
Rich: Our Player of the Week is Manchester City's, Raheem Sterling.
Jack: Sterling has definitely gone up in value after that performance.
Rich: That’s a terrible joke, Jack.
Jack: Sterling work from Raheem.
Rich: That is also awful! If you didn’t know, the noun sterling is also the name for the currency or system of money in the United Kingdom and the adjective sterling means something that is of excellent quality.
Jack: I thought they were pretty good puns! Anyway, the next award is for Team of the Week. We’ve already mentioned a few teams at the bottom who got good wins - Arsenal had a good win against Manchester United.
Rich: But we’re going to go with Newcastle United. Coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 doesn’t happen very often and that’s what the Magpies did against Everton.
Jack: A brilliant result. Right, the final ward is for GOal of the Week. He seems to be scoring great free-kicks every week and he got another one last weekend. Our Goal of the Week goes to Southampton's James Ward Prowse for his late free-kick that gave the Saints all three points against Tottenham. A great goal and a great result.
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. You get one point if you predict the right result and three points if you predict the right score.
Jack: What’s the big match this weekend?
Rich: This weekend there are a mixture of Premier League and FA Cup matches so I’m going to look at one of the FA Cup quarter-finals. The match is between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United. Wolves have been having a tremendous season back in the Premier League with their Portugues influences and a top half Premier League finish and a cup run will be a sign of a good season. Manchester United are looking for something more and want to win this trophy. They suffered their first Premier League defeat against Arsenal last weekend but I fancy them to win this one. It will be tight and it could go to extra-time. Final score: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Manchester United.
Jack: I wouldn’t mind seeing Wolves winning in a penalty shootout. That’s what I predict.
Rich: 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.
Jack: If you listen to us on Apple Podcasts, don’t forget to leave us a review. We’d love to hear from you.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Liverpool 4-2 Burnley
Manchester City 3-1 Watford
Huddersfield 0-2 Bournemouth
Crystal Palace 1-2 Brighton
Southampton 2-1 Tottenham
Cardiff City 2-0 West Ham
Newcastle Utd 3-2 Everton
Leicester City 3-1 Fulham
Chelsea 1-1 Wolves
Arsenal 2-0 Manchester Utd
We looked at six idioms connected tot he body that you can learn to improve your English. Take a look at the phrases in bold. Do you undertand what they mean?
Liverpool and Manchester City are neck and neck at the top.
A big pat on the back for Raheem Sterling who got a hat-trick for City.
The first goal was only awarded after a helping hand from the referee.
Liverpool gave Burnley a head start.
Liverpool fans were head over heels after doubles from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino gave the Reds a 4-2 win.
Keep your chins up Huddersfield and Fulham fans - you’re not down yet!
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: Newcastle United
Goal of the Week: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
The Big Match
Wolves v Manchester United
The big match this weekend is the FA Cup quarter-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United. Rich thinks it will be a win for United but Jack thinks there will be a shock. Do you agree?
What are your predictions? Have a listen to what Rich and Jack say and then enter our prediction competition below. You get one point for the correct result and three points for predicting the exact score.
Where are you in our prediction league?
Who will be our Premier League Prediction Champion?
Use this form to make your prediction. You can only make one prediction so take care! When you have made your predictions, the form will vanish.
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Check out the league table for our prediction competition. What position are you in?
What do you think?
Jack and Rich have spoken about Matchweek 30 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 Raheem Sterling of Manchester City as Player of the Week. Do you agree?
- Jack and Rich selected Newcastle United as their Team of the Week. Do you agree?
- Rich picked James Ward-Prowse's free-kick for Southampton as Goal of the Week? Did you see it? Do you agree?
- Use this week's vocabulary: Who deserves a big pat on the back for their Premier League performances this season? When were you last head over heels about a football result?
Don't forget to make your prediction for this week's Big Match!
Let's get the conversation started and create a community!