Comeback vocabulary: Man City zeros to heroes

Even if you’re not interested in football, this post is full of grammar and vocabulary that just reading it will improve your English a little bit. The close of the English football season provided a remarkable comeback story, the likes of which had never been seen before.

A Hollywood scriptwriter wouldn’t have dared to invent a story so ridiculous. In unbelievably dramatic fashion, Manchester City won the Premiership Football league in the dying seconds of the last match of the season that amazed even people with absolutely no interest in football. The winning goal, scored with the last kick of the game, meant that Man City had made a comeback so incredible that normally dull commentators went absolutely mental (see video). At the start of the game, Man City only had to win against their opponents, Queen’s Park Rangers (one of the worst teams this year) and they would beat their arch rivals, Manchester United into second place in the league. If they lost or drew, Man Utd would be handed the title if they won their game. After 90 minutes played, Man Utd had finished and won their game 1-0 and Man City were losing 2-1, with 4 minutes of added-time still to be played. Man City also has a history of screwing things up and pretty much nobody believed that they could come back from the dead and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Maybe it was nerves, but the millionaire players of Man City, some of the best-paid footballers on the planet, had no response to two great goals from QPR and a last-minute rally looked impossible. The cameras showed pictures of the mostly silent crowd looking on in disbelief, crying and even leaving the stadium. But in the 92nd minute, Dzeko scored and suddenly there was a huge resurgence in the Man City team. But still, all looked lost. Only victory would be good enough to win the league title after a 44-year wait. But then in the 94th minute, Aguero, rising like a phoenix from the ashes burst into the QPR penalty area and slammed home the winner for Man City, sending the crowd into absolute bedlam. With the final kick of the season, Man City had gone from villains to heroes, from chokers to champions, rising like Lazarus from the grave and completely transcending sport with a piece of pure theatre. That was liquid football!

Comeback Vocabulary

to make a comeback
to be in a winning position after being in a losing position (usually in sport)
to come back from the dead
to return to a successful position from a very bad position – going from dead to alive/very bad to very good
to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
to win at the last moment when it seemed that you were 100% going to lose
to come together to continue fighting
an increase in activity or strength after a period of weakness or little activity
to rise like a phoenix from the ashes
to make an amazing comeback
to go from villains to heroes
to become very successful after being in the worst position
to go from chokers to champions
‘choker’ – a person who performs badly in a high-pressure situation
to rise like Lazarus from the grave
as from the story in the bible where Jesus resurrects Lazarus from the dead – i.e. going from dead to alive

Do you know of a better comeback story than this?

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