English soccer’s sublime prose

” . . . the Belgian’s muscularity helped find parity as a knockdown fell at the feet of Allen, who swept home in front of a jubilant Kop to snatch a point.”

That’s from the site of soccer’s Premier League in England (and Wales). Who else writes game summaries like that? The line is from a report of a recent Liverpool match. I love reading these for their distinctive and consistent style.

(Beware — this post will be a mishmash of Anglo and American terms. Match, game, football, soccer, pitch, field, etc., all tossed together.)

I would give credit to the authors, but they are not named. Other excerpts from various matches:

“Ben Watson put in a sublime block to deny Pedro just after the hour-mark, but Costa restored parity when he latched on to Willian’s through-ball to guide a shot beyond Heurelho Gomes.”

A sublime block it was; and look at these other adjectives:

“However, Quique Sanchez Flores’ side were unperturbed and drew level before the break when Troy Deeney converted a cool penalty following a needless handball from Nemanja Matic.”


“John Terry’s header deflected off Cahill and fell kindly for Costa”

When I imagine how an American writer might describe a particular play, I think it would be something like this:

“The City defender made up for his earlier mistake by taking a corner kick which Toure smashed in for a goal with eight minutes remaining.”

But on the Premier League site, it is:

“The City defender atoned for his error by delivering the corner that Toure met with an emphatic left-foot volley eight minutes from time.”

And finally, I like the efficient way the writers convey the sequence of events:

“The in-form winger scored a spot-kick in each half, either side of Romelu Lukaku netting in his seventh consecutive league game for the hosts.”

Either side of; so it was the wing scoring a penalty kick, then Lukaku’s goal, and then the wing scoring another penalty.


“only for Olivier Giroud to net either side of half-time.”

An American football writer might say that the Packers scored right before halftime, and then again at the beginning of the second half, but I doubt she’d say that ‘Aaron Rodgers crafted sublime touchdown passes either side of half-time.’ Ah, but I wish she would.





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