This Week: VAR-dy Time
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: VAR-dy Time
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich 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.
Laura: My name’s Laura. If you want to listen and read at the same time we have a transcript of this podcast on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: We had goals, shock results and controversy in Matchweek 3 in the Premier League.
Laura: And the Women’s Super League champions were knocked out of the FA Cup.
Jack: Lots to look at this week. We’re going to take a look at three headlines from this weekend’s action and after each, we’ll introduce 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.
Rich: You can find all of our latest content on the Premier Skills English homepage or the Premier Skills-British Council Facebook page.
Jack: Don’t forget that we also have our weekly Premier Skills English podcast that is released every Friday. Every week we help you with some different vocabulary or an aspect of grammar.
Laura: Our latest podcast is called Learning Vocabulary: Get on your bike
Rich: In the podcast, I’m inspired by Rowan who cycles to work every day and decide to start cycling to work myself.
Laura: But Rich hasn’t been on a bike in a while and has a few problems.
Jack: We focus on words and phrases connected to bikes, health and fitness and the environment. You can find this podcast and more on the Premier Skills English homepage now.
Laura: OK, you’re now going to hear our three headlines. After each headline, we’ll have a little discussion and look at some vocabulary.
Rich: The words and phrases we are looking at this week are: a back-heel flick, stunner, stunning and stunned, a diving header, an international, to tuck away a penalty, and to score from the spot.
Jack: 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: Vardy’s Foxes stun City.
Rich: Leicester City stormed to the top of the Premier League with a stunning 5-2 away win at Manchester City. Jamie Vardy was the star of the show with a hat-trick including a fantastic back-heel flick. Riyad Mahrez had opened the scoring with a stunner for City but Leicester stunned City with four second-half goals. City looked stunned at the final whistle.
Laura: Here’s a fact for you. Did you know that it’s the first time one team have scored three penalties in a Premier League match.
Jack: I didn’t know that.
Laura: Here’s another fact or two. Jamie Vardy is the first player to ever score two hat-tricks against a team managed by Pep Guardiola and the first-ever to score a hat-trick for a visiting club against a team managed by Guardiola.
Rich: He was the top scorer in the Premier League last season and he’s top of the charts already this season. A great start to the season for Leicester.
Jack: OK, let’s look at some language from that first headline. Vardy scored with a back-heel flick. It was a fantastic goal.
Laura: Your heel is the round back part of your foot and to backheel the ball means to kick the ball backwards with this part of your foot.
Rich: In football, a flick is a light touch of the ball that changes the direction the ball is travelling in.
Jack: This is how Vardy scored flicking the ball with his heel to send the ball into the net. Vardy scored with a back-heel flick.
Laura: We’re going to look at a few words now but they all share the same root or main word. That word is stun.
Rich: This word is connected to the feeling of shock or surprise and we used in a few different forms in our first headline.
Jack: Riyad Mahrez scored a stunner. A stunner is a fantastic goal - a goal that surprised many because it was so good. Stunner is a noun.
Laura: It would definitely have surprised or shocked the Leicester defenders. They won’t have thought he could have scored from there.
Rich: We said Leicester got a stunning 5-2 win at Manchester City.
Jack: Here stunning is an adjective and again describes something that is surprising or shocking but in a positive way.
Laura: Stunning ends in -ing because it’s describing something that makes you feel stunned.
Rich: Stunned. This is also an adjective but this time it ends in -ed. City looked stunned at the final whistle.
Jack: When we use -ed adjectives it’s to describe how people feel. The Manchester City team looked stunned.
Laura: It was a stunning result for Leicester City. Manchester City looked stunned. Do you see the difference?
Rich: And then we also used the verb to stun. We said Leicester stunned Manchester City. This means Leicester shocked Manchester City.
Jack: The verb in the past is the same as the adjective but used differently. Listen. Which is the verb and which is the adjective?
Laura: Manchester City looked stunned. Leicester stunned Manchester City.
Rich: Let’s move on to our next headline.
Laura: Chelsea come unstuck against Toffees.
Jack: Everton stunned Women’s Super League Champions, Chelsea, to progress to the semi-final stage of the FA Cup. Lucy Graham equalised with a stunning diving header and French international, Valerie Gauvin, sealed the come-from -behind win with another header. Also through to the semi-finals are Birmingham, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Laura: Arsenal had a good result against Tottenham.
Jack: 4-0! I thought Tottenham had just signed the best player in the world.
Rich: I don’t think she played so you got away with that one.
Laura: Let’s look at a bit of language. We’ll start with the word international. Normally it’s an adjective to describe something that involves a number of different countries.
Jack: But in football, it is often used as a noun. In the headline, we spoke about the french international Valerie Gauvin.
Rich: An international is someone who plays football or any sport for their country. Sadio Mane is a Senegalese international, Mohamed Salah is an Egyptian international, Roberto Firmino is a Brazilian international.
Laura: And we also use international for matches between two countries. We can describe them as international matches or just internationals.
Jack: Our second phrase is a diving header. We said that Lucy Graham scored for Everton with a diving header.
Rich: A diving header is when you head the ball near the ground. Usually, you have to throw yourself forward to connect with the ball when it is crossed into the penalty area.
Laura: I love diving headers. They are so spectacular. Let’s move on to our final headline.
Rich: VAR is handy for some but not for others.
Laura: Everton, Manchester United and Newcastle all benefited from VAR decisions for handball to score penalties at the weekend. Richarlison tucked his penalty away to give Everton all three points and keep up their good start to the season. Bruno Fernandes scored Manchester Utd’s winning penalty ten minutes into injury time to give the Red Devils a 3-2 win at Brighton. And Newcastle got a late, late penalty to earn a draw when Callum Wilson scored from the spot for the Magpies.
Jack: Like you said, Rich. A handy decision for some teams.
Rich: Yes, I was playing with words here. Handy can be used to describe something that is useful and I used it here as a pun because all three of these teams were awarded penalties for handball.
Laura: Yes, everyone is talking about handball again and the new rules this season.
Jack: We’re just going to talk about the language though. Two phrases that mean scoring a penalty.
Rich: The first is a phrasal verb. To tuck away. Richarlison tucked his penalty away. This means to score a penalty with ease.
Laura: And the second is one I’m sure you’ve heard us use before. It’s to score from the spot. The spot, of course, is the penalty spot so to score from the spot means to score a penalty.
Jack: 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 back-heel flick, stunner, stunning and stunned, a diving header, an international, to tuck away a penalty, to score from the spot.
Jack: It’s time for this week’s Premier League prediction. The Premier League can be so unpredictable, can’t it?
Laura: I know I predicted a 3-0 win for Manchester City against Leicester and Leicester won 5-2.
Jack: And I said I don’t think many people would disagree with that. Do you want to have a go this week, Rich?
Rich: OK, matchweek 4 sees Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Leeds have had a good return to the Premier League, winning twice and running the Champions close. Manchester City will want to bounce back immediately from that horrendous result against Leicester. I think this will be just the type of game that City need - end to end with both teams attacking. It will be open and Leeds won’t play a counter-attacking game like Leicester. For that reason, I think City will come out on top. Final score: Leeds United 1-2 Manchester City.
Laura: Really? I’m not so sure. I think Leeds might stun City in this one.
Rich: We want you to make your predictions on the Premier Skills English website. For this match and the rest of Matchweek four’s fixtures.
Rich: To finish up the show we’ve got a quick language challenge connected to this week’s vocabulary.
Jack: Earlier we looked at the different parts of speech for the word stun. The noun, adjectives and verb. Here are three more sentences. We want you to guess the correct word in each.
Laura: Write your answers in the comments section and if your answers are correct you will see that we have replaced your answer with asterisks so other listeners can guess too. Here are the three sentences.
Rich: That goal by Vardy. What a _________!
Jack: It was a ________ strike. Probably the best of the season so far.
Laura: The manager looked absolutely ________ at the end of the game.
Rich: We want you to write the correct 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.
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.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Vardy’s Foxes stun City
Leicester City stormed to the top of the Premier League with a stunning 5-2 away win at Manchester City. Jamie Vardy was the star of the show with a hat-trick including a fantastic back-heel flick. Riyad Mahrez had opened the scoring with a stunner for City but Leicester stunned City with four second-half goals. City looked stunned at the final whistle.
Chelsea come unstuck against Toffees
Everton stunned Women’s Super League Champions, Chelsea, to progress to the semi-final stage of the FA Cup. Lucy Graham equalised with a stunning diving header and French international, Valerie Gauvin, sealed the come from behind win with another header. Also through to the semi-finals are Birmingham, Manchester City and Arsenal.
VAR is handy for some but not for others
Everton, Manchester United and Newcastle all benefitted from VAR decisions for handball to score penalties at the weekend. Richarlison tucked his penalty away to give Everton all three points and keep up their good start to the season. Bruno Fernandes scored Manchester Utd’s winning penalty ten minutes into injury time to give the Red Devils a 3-2 win at Brighton. And Newcastle got a late, late penalty to earn a draw when Callum Wilson scored from the spot for the Magpies.
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?
Leicester City stormed to the top of the Premier League with a stunning 5-2 away win at Manchester City.
Jamie Vardy was the star of the show with a hat-trick including a fantastic back-heel flick.
Lucy Graham equalised with a stunning diving header.
French international, Valerie Gauvin, sealed the come from behind win with another header.
Richarlison tucked his penalty away to give Everton all three points.
Callum Wilson scored from the spot for the Magpies.
Premier League Predictions: Leeds United v Manchester City
Manchester City travel to Leeds in this weekend's big match. Here are the other Premier League fixtures for Matchweek 4:
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Everton v Brighton
Leeds v Manchester City
Newcastle Utd v Burnley
Leicester v West Ham
Southampton v West Brom
Arsenal v Sheffield Utd
Wolves v Fulham
Manchester Utd v Tottenham
Aston VIlla v Liverpool
Talk about the matches and make your predictions in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Have you ever played fantasy football? For the 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League season, you can join our mini-league "Premier Skills English" on the Premier League's official fantasy football game.
Joining the league couldn't be easier and it's free. Simply use the link below and you'll be added automatically after you've entered the game.
League Code: n4rwjn
Looking forward to playing against you this season!
Jack, Laura and Rich set you a language challenge. We used the noun, adjectives and verb for the word stun earlier in the podcast and we’ve thought of three other sentences which use them. Can you complete the phrases using the correct word?
That goal by Vardy. What a _________!
It was a ________ strike. Probably the best of the season so far.
The manager looked absolutely ________ at the end of the game.
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.
- What's the most stunning result you can remember?
- Is being an international the pinnacle of a footballer's career?
- Is a diving header the most spectacular way to score a goal?
- Talk about this week's Premier League matches and make your predictions.
- Join our Premier Skills English Fantasy Football League!
- Can you do our language challenge?
Write your comments and answers in the section below.