This Week: What a fluke!
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, Laura, Rich and Jack talk about the latest action from the Premier League and have lots of football English for you to learn.
Laura: Hello my name’s Laura 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: And I’m Jack and we hope you are all well.
Laura: The Premier League season has just two weeks left but we have plenty more football English for you to learn.
Rich: We take a look at three headlines about the Premier League action from the past seven days. This week we’re talking about a West Ham player’s quadruple, strikers who don’t score scoring and lucky goals.
Jack: Our main reason for choosing these headlines, however, is so we can focus on some useful bits of vocabulary.
Laura: And 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.
Rich: And a little later we’ll also have a Premier League prediction for you. We want you to make your predictions, too.
Jack: 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.
Laura: You can find all our latest content on the Premier Skills English homepage or the Premier Skills-British Council Facebook page.
Rich: 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.
Jack: Our latest podcast is called Understanding Grammar: The Present Perfect and a surprise party.
Rich: In the roleplay, we plan a surprise party for a friend who is moving to London because she has a new job as a sports journalist.
Laura: The language focus is on how we use the present perfect to describe past actions that have present results.
Jack: We try to prepare a good party but not everything goes according to plan. You can find the lesson on the homepage on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: You’re now going to hear our three headlines. After each headline, we’ll have a little discussion and look at some vocabulary.
Laura: The words and phrases we are looking at this week are: to thump a team, top flight, a brace, shots at goal, a fluke and to nutmeg.
Jack: After the headlines, we want you to make a Premier League prediction and we have a language challenge for you to have a go at.
Rich: Antonio on fire as Norwich go down.
Jack: Michail Antonio scored four times as West Ham thumped Norwich 4-0 to send the Canaries back down to the Championship after one season in the top flight. Since the restart, Antonio has been involved in 78% of West Ham’s goals and his latest performance pulls West Ham closer to Premier League safety.
Laura: Norwich are the first team to get relegated this season. It all looked very different when the Canaries beat Manchester City back in September.
Rich: Bad news for Norwich fans but I’m sure they’ll be back. On Saturday I thought West Ham looked safe but then Watford, Villa and Bournemouth all go and win, too. It’s all still to play for.
Jack: That’s a nice phrase all still to play for. We can also say everything is to play for or everything is up for grabs. It means that everything is still available - all options are open or possible.
Laura: Let’s look at another couple of words from the headline. We said that West Ham thumped Norwich. Now, to thump someone in a literal sense means to hit someone with your fist. Boxers thump each other.
Rich: But here it means to beat another team easily. When one team thumps another we’re normally talking about scorelines like 4-0, 5-0 or more.
Jack: The other phrase from the headline we want to look at is top flight. We sometimes see the Premier League being described as the top flight or the top flight of English football.
Laura: The top flight is the best division in a league. In English football, the top flight is the Premier League. We often describe a team as being in the top flight - being in the best division.
Rich: We also use it as an adjective: Did you know that Portsmouth, Blackpool and Swindon Town used to be top-flight clubs - they used to play in the Premier League.
Jack: Let’s move on to our next headline.
Jack: Strikers that don’t score … score.
Laura: Bournemouth had a big win against Leicester City. The Cherries beat the Foxes 4-1 and Dominic Solanke scored a brace - they were Solanke’s first goals for Bournemouth in his 39th appearance. It took Solanke over a year to score his first goal and it took less than two minutes for his second to arrive. Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick also got a brace in their 3-0 win against Chelsea. McGoldrick had had more shots at goal without scoring than any other player this season but shots number 42 and 43 both found the back of the net.
Rich: Goals are a bit like buses, aren’t they?
Jack: What do you mean?
Rich: Well, you wait for ages for one to arrive and then two come along at the same time!
Laura: Dominic Solanke scored a brace for Bournemouth and David McGoldrick got a brace for Sheffield United. They both scored twice. They scored two goals.
Jack: A brace is used to describe a pair of goals. If you score three it’s a hat-trick and if you score four like Michail Antonio we can say quadruple.
Rich: We said McGoldrick had had 41 shots at goal before he scored. That’s a lot of shots. A shot at goal is a kick towards the goal.
Laura: Shots on goal include those that are on target which result in a goal or the keeper making a save and shots that are off-target are when the shot goes wide or over the crossbar.
Jack: Let’s take a look at our final headline.
Laura: Fluke gets Sterling his hat-trick.
Rich: Manchester City thumped Brighton by five goals to nil with Raheem Sterling grabbing a treble in the game but the hat-trick goal won’t be remembered for being his finest - it was a comedy of errors. Sterling ended up falling over and as he was looking away from the goal the ball hit the back of his head, which nutmegged the keeper and rolled over the line.
Jack: You are definitely getting the rub of the green when you score goals like that.
Laura: To get the rub of the green. That’s an interesting phrase - it comes from golf I think. It means to get some good fortune or to have luck on your side. It’s used quite a lot to talk about sport.
Rich: It was a total fluke. A fluke is something that is a lucky or unusual thing that happens. Sterling scored a fluke goal - it didn’t have much to do with skill but a lot to do with luck.
Jack: I suppose you could say he was in the right place at the right time which is no fluke. You can also have a fluke result. This would be when one team won surprisingly when they probably didn’t deserve to - they were lucky.
Laura: Our last phrase this week is to nutmeg someone. We said that the ball nutmegged the goalkeeper. This means that the ball was put through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Rich: Getting nutmegged can be embarrassing for a player because you look a bit silly. I don’t think Sterling’s goal made the keeper look silly - it was just a fluke and very unlucky for the keeper.
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: to thump a team, top flight, a brace, shots at goal, a fluke and to nutmeg.
Laura: Have a listen to the headlines again and see if you understand the vocabulary we’ve looked at.
Laura: It’s time for our Premier League prediction. Jack, you got your prediction wrong last week so your winning run ends at a grand total of none.
Jack: I knew I shouldn’t have predicted an Arsenal win. So, it’s your turn Rich. Laura is still winning our little competition because she got one prediction right.
Rich: Right, well I’m going to look at the FA Cup semi-finals Manchester City will beat Arsenal easily so I’m going to speak about the other semi-final: Manchester United against Chelsea. I think it’ll be a close game - Chelsea and United are next to each other in the Premier League table so there probably won’t be much to chose between them. Since the restart, United have been on fire though and Chelsea’s form has been more up and down. For that reason, I’m going for a United win after extra time. Final score: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea.
Laura: So, that’s Rich’s prediction. What’s yours? Do you agree with him? You can make your prediction for this match and any other Premier League matches on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: To finish up the show we’ve got a quick language challenge connected to this week’s vocabulary.
Laura: Earlier we used the idiom to get the rub of the green. Here are three more idioms that use colours. Can you complete the missing word in each sentence?
Rich: The FA Cup is a _________ opportunity for Arsenal to play in Europe next season.
Jack: The laws about handball and penalties are still a bit of a _____ area for me. I’m never sure what’s going to happen when a decision goes to VAR.
Laura: That goal for Sterling will only happen once in a _____ moon. It was such a fluke!
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.
Antonio on fire as Norwich go down
Michail Antonio scored four times as West Ham thumped Norwich 4-0 to send the Canaries back down to the Championship after one season in the top flight. Since the restart, Antonio has been involved in 78% of West Ham’s goals and his latest performance pulls West Ham closer to Premier League safety.
Strikers that don’t score … score.
Bournemouth had a big win against Leicester City. The Cherries beat the Foxes 4-1 and Dominic Solanke scored a brace - they were Solanke’s first goals for Bournemouth in his 39th appearance. It took Solanke over a year to score his first goal and it took less than two minutes for his second to arrive. Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick also got a brace in their 3-0 win against Chelsea. McGoldrick had had more shots at goal without scoring than any other player this season but shots number 42 and 43 both found the back of the net.
Fluke gets Sterling his hat-trick
Manchester City thumped Brighton by five goals to nil with Raheem Sterling grabbing a treble in the game but the hat-trick goal won’t be remembered for being his finest - it was a comedy of errors. Sterling ended up falling over and as he was looking away from the goal the ball hit the back of his head, nutmegged the keeper and rolled over the line.
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?
Michail Antonio scored four times as West Ham thumped Norwich 4-0 .
The Canaries go back down to the Championship after one season in the top flight.
The Cherries beat the Foxes 4-1 and Dominic Solanke scored a brace.
McGoldrick had had more shots at goal without scoring than any other player this season.
Fluke gets Sterling his hat-trick.
The ball hit the back of his head, nutmegged the keeper and rolled over the line.
FA Cup Prediction
Rich has our prediction this week. He spoke about the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Rich thinks Manchester United will win and it will be a Manchester Derby in the final. Who do you think will win?
Jack, Rich and Laura set you a language challenge. We used the phrase to get the rub of the green earlier in the podcast and we’ve thought of three other phrases which use different colours. Can you complete the phrases using the correct colour?
The FA Cup is a _________ opportunity for Arsenal to play in Europe next season.
The laws about handball and penalties are still a bit of a _____ area for me. I’m never sure what will happen.
That goal for Sterling will only happen once in a _____ moon. It was such a fluke!
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.
- Michail Antonio scored a quadruple for West Ham. Has a player ever scored four or more for your team?
- Raheem Sterling scored a bit of a fluke for Manchester City. What's the flukiest goal you can remember?
- Who will b playing top-flight football next season?
- Rich has predicted a final score of Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea. What's your prediction?
- Can you do our language challenge?
Write your comments and answers in the section below.