The Language of Football – Number 1

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (and even more ways to Score a Goal)

GoalFor any readers who are old enough to remember, Paul Simon sang in 1975 about 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. I think he short-changed us though as I can only remember five ways. There may have been more?

He suggested to Jack to “slip out the back”, Stan was advised to “make a new plan”, Roy was told “you don’t need to be coy, just set yourself free”, the suggestion to Gus was to “hop on the bus”, and Lee was urged to “drop off the key”.

As I listened to the song on the radio recently it got me thinking of how many different ways there are to describe different types of goal being scored, and or the way a goal was scored, or phrases that described goals generally. A bit of poetic licence here but I tried to come up with 50 Ways to Score a Goal and came up with the following list:

always going in from the moment it left his boot, arrowed home, assured finish, back-heeled,banged in, blistering finish, blockbuster, bounced off his shin, breakaway goal,broke the deadlock, bullet header, bullet shot,

calm finish, capitalised, cheeky finish, chested, chipped the keeper, clever finish, clinical finish, connected, consolation goal, cross-cum shot, curled in, deadly finish, deflected goal, deft touch, devastating finish, diving header, doubled the advantage, drove the ball home,

emphatic finish, equalised, finished with aplomb, finished, finished from close range, fired home, flung himself at the cross, forced the ball home, found his shooting boots, found the net, found the top / bottom corner, gambled, gave the keeper no chance, glanced, goal that deserves to win any game, goalkeeping gaffe, good time to score, got off the mark,

headed home, hit home, hit on the half-volley, hit the target, hit the winner, hooked, in the back of the net, kicked, laced, lashed, last gasp equaliser, latched on to a suicidal backpass, late strike, leathered, levelled, lofted, long range effort, made no mistake, met a pinpoint cross, met the cross, met the rebound, mishit, miskicked,

nodded home, notched, netbuster, off the post, off the underside of the bar, on target, opened the floodgates, opener, opportunist strike, overhead kick, own goal, piledriver, poached, poked home, powered home, pulled the trigger, punished the defence, punted, put his laces through the ball, put the ball in the net,

rammed home, rebounded into the net, reduced the deficit, replied, rescued a point, rifled in, rising shot, sailed into the net, salvaged a point, scrappy goal, screamer, scuffed the ball, secured all three points, shinned the ball, side-footed, slid the ball home, slipped the ball under the keeper, slotted home, smashed home, squirmed under the keeper, stooped to score, stunning finish, sweet strike, swept the ball home, swooped to score,

tapped in, the net bulged, toe-ended, toe-poked, took the lead, trickled into the net, turned the loose ball into the net, unstoppable shot, volleyed, whipped into the bottom corner.

There are more than 100 there. The list is not exhaustive. How many others can you come up with?