This Week: Up for the cup
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: Up for the cup
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 FA Cup quarter-finals and the battle to avoid relegation in the Premier League.
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: a precise pass, a superb solo goal, depleted, deserved, to preserve something and to stay up.
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: The Saints go marching on.
Laura: Southampton beat their south coast rivals, Bournemouth by three goals to nil to move into the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Nathan Redmond was the star of the show. He set up the first goal with a precise pass for Moussa Djenepo and then scored a superb solo goal before scoring again in the second half.
Rich: A great win for the Saints. They’ve not been in very good form in the Premier League but the cup has been a whole different kettle of fish.
Jack: What did you just say? A kettle of fish?
Rich: Yes, a kettle of fish. It’s a phrase that we use to describe something that is completely different from something else.
Laura: A kettle of fish - I challenge our listeners to get that phrase into a conversation this week! Let’s look at a couple of other phrases from the headline.
Jack: Nathan Redmond played a precise pass to set up the first goal. The phrase I want to look at is a precise pass and more specifically the word precise.
Rich: Precise is used to describe something that is very exact, clear or accurate. You might ask for the precise price for something in a shop if it’s not clear or you might need to get the precise measurements of something you are fitting in your house.
Laura: A precise pass describes a pass that was difficult to make. He had to be very exact, very precise with the pass otherwise it wouldn’t have reached Moussa Djenepo.
Jack: The other phrase I want to look at is a superb solo goal. Nathan Redmond scored a superb solo goal.
Rich: Superb means very good is an absolute adjective. What I mean by an absolute adjective is that it’s a very strong adjective and you can’t make it stronger by using words like very. You can’t say it was very superb.
Laura: No, you can only use words like absolutely or others like totally and completely when we use absolute adjectives like superb and fantastic.
Jack: A solo goal is when a player doesn’t need any help. The player might run with the ball a long way and may also dribble past defenders before scoring.
Rich: Nathan Redmond scored a superb solo goal. Let’s move on to our next headline.
Laura: Foxes fancy first FA Cup.
Rich: Leicester City reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in forty years with a 3-1 win against a depleted Manchester United. Leicester were deserved winners as Kelechi Ihenacho scored twice and Youri Tielemans got the other despite a first-half equaliser from Mason Greenwood for United.
Jack: And Leicester will play Southampton in the semi-finals - a great chance for either side to reach the FA Cup Final.
Laura: And in the other semi-final Manchester City will play Chelsea after City beat Everton and Chelsea beat Sheffield United in their quarter-finals.
Rich: Let’s look at some language. In the headline I described the Manchester United squad or team as depleted when I said Leicester won 3-1 against a depleted Manchester United.
Jack: Depleted means reduced or weakened; something that is smaller than usual or before.
Laura: It’s quite common in a football context to talk about depleted squads or teams. It means that they are playing with a weaker team than usual.
Rich: This could be because a team has lots of injuries or the manager decides to rest a few players. Manchester United had a few injuries and this was their third big game in a week so they rested a few players, too.
Jack: The other word I’d like to look at is deserved. Rich described Leicester as deserved winners. Leicester deserved to win because they were the better team.
Laura: Deserved can be used as an adjective or a verb and is used when someone earns something because of what they’ve done and how they did it.
Rich: Leicester deserved to win because they earned the victory by playing well and playing better than the other team.
Jack: Leicester were deserved winners. We can also use well-deserved. The victory was well-deserved.
Laura; Let’s move on to our final headline.
Rich: Fulham and Newcastle continue to struggle.
Jack: The battle at the bottom of the table continues with Fulham and Newcastle in a fight to preserve their Premier League status. To stay up one of them will need to improve their form - both lost again at the weekend. Fulham lost at home to Leeds and Newcastle lost at Brighton who climbed away from the relegation zone.
Laura: Yes, both sides are feeling the pressure and guess who they play on the last day of the season - each other! What a game that might be!
Rich: Let’s look at some language. Jack said Fulham and Newcastle are in a fight to preserve their Premier League status.
Jack: This means both teams are playing to remain in the Premier League. They want to continue to be Premier League clubs.
Laura: Status describes an official position in a group or the amount of importance or respect you receive.
Rich: Teams want to preserve their status as a Premier League club. To preserve something means to maintain something the way it is - for it not to change.
Jack: We use preserve a lot when we talk about the environment and old buildings. It’s important to preserve our natural environment and not destroy things.
Laura: It’s important to preserve old buildings so towns can attract more tourists.
Rich: The other phrase I want to talk about is also connected to preserving something - it’s to stay up.
Jack: To stay up is a phrasal verb and is used in a football context to describe a football team that remains in a division and doesn’t get relegated. A team that preserves its status remains in the division they are in.
Laura: Fulham and Newcastle are fighting to stay up.
Rich: OK. We’ve looked at three stories and lots of vocabulary in our headlines. The words and phrases we’ve looked at were: a precise pass, a superb solo goal, depleted, deserved, to preserve something and to stay up.
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: It’s time for our football prediction.
Laura: Jack thought Leicester would win against Manchester United and they got a well-deserved win.
Rich: Laura and I thought Manchester United would win but we didn’t know United would be so depleted otherwise we’d have gone for the Foxes.
Laura: So, Jack, as you were correct with your prediction you get to choose this week’s match.
Jack: On Saturday there is the small matter of a North London Derby in the Women’s Super League. Arsenal are chasing a Champions League spot after beating Manchester United last week. Tottenham are not in very good form although they look to have preserved their Super League status for another season. I’m quite confident in predicting a big win for the Gunners. Final score: Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham.
Laura: It’s difficult to go against you but I’ll go for a one-all draw.
Rich: Derby matches are notoriously difficult to predict: a one-nil win for Spurs.
Jack: What do you think the score will be? Do you agree with me, Rich or Laura?
Laura: We want you to talk about all this week’s football on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: To finish up the show we’ve got a quick language challenge connected to this week’s vocabulary.
Jack: Earlier we spoke about a superb solo goal. You’re going to hear three more sentences that include collocations with 'goal'. Can you guess the missing word?
Laura: That’s a very unfortunate ____ goal. The ball hit the defender and flew into the net.
Rich: He’s gone round the keeper but he’s missed it. He’s missed an ______ goal. Can you believe it?
Jack: The keeper is injured and they’ve used all their substitutes. Who’s going to go _____ goal?
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.
Jack: 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.
Rich: 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.
Saints go marching on in the cup
Southampton beat their south coast rivals, Bournemouth, by three goals to nil to move into the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Nathan Redmond was the start of the show. He set up the first goal with a precise pass for Moussa Djenepo and then scored a superb solo goal before scoring again in the second half.
Foxes fancy first FA Cup
Leicester City reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in forty years with a 3-1 win against a depleted Manchester United. Leicester were deserved winners as Kelechi Ihenacho scored twice and Youri Tielemans got the other despite a first-half equaliser from Mason Greenwood for United.
Fulham and Newcastle continue to struggle
The fight at the bottom of the table continues with Fulham and Newcastle in a fight to preserve their Premier League status. To stay up one of them will need to improve their form - both lost again at the weekend. Fulham lost at home to Leeds and Newcastle lost at Brighton who climbed away from the relegation zone.
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?
Nathan Redmond set up the first goal with a precise pass for Moussa Djenepo
Redmond then scored a superb solo goal.
Leicester won against a depleted Manchester United.
Leicester were deserved winners as Kelechi Ihenacho scored twice for the hosts.
Fulham and Newcastle in a fight to preserve their Premier League status.
To stay up one of them will need to improve their form - both lost again at the weekend.
Football Prediction: Arsenal v Tottenham
Jack thinks Arsenal will comfortably beat Tottenham in the Women's Super League. Rich has gone for a Spurs win and Laura a draw. What do you think will happen in the ot?
Jack, Laura and Rich set you a language challenge. In the podcast, we used the phrase a superb solo goal. Here are three more sentences that use collocations with 'goal'. Can you guess the missing words?
That’s a very unfortunate ____ goal. The ball hits the defender and flies into the net.
He’s gone round the keeper but he’s missed it. He’s missed an ______ goal. Can you believe it?
The keeper is injured and they’ve used all their substitutes. Who’s going to go _____ goal?
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 scored a superb solo goal and played a precise pass?
- Who played with a depleted team?
- Which teams are fighting to stay up and preserve their Premier League status?
- Have you got a prediction?
- Can you do our language challenge?
Write your comments and answers in the section below.