The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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A Line Under Sunday, October 28

Jens Lehmann does his fancy warmup routine.Liverpool 1 – 1 Arsenal — It took Jens Lehmann exactly 0.21 seconds to lean over and tell someone that he would have blocked that free kick. There’s a special official who times this. They have a stopwatch for it and everything.

Tottenham 1 – 2 Blackburn — The greatest test facing the managerial acumen of Juande Ramos will be to convince a confused and skeptical Spurs side that a football match ends at 90, not at 87 minutes.

Bolton 1 – 1 Aston Villa — Okay, so the smallest crowd in the Reebok’s top-flight history turned out for Gary Megson’s first game at Bolton. But the people who did turn out were impressed! You should have heard them in the car on the ride home!

Manchester United 4 – 1 Middlesbrough — Now that Rooney and Tevez can officially play together, the only question for United is how long it will be before Nani injures himself during the floor exercise portion of his goal celebration.

Reading 2 – 1 Newcastle — Newcastle like playing in Newcastle. They don’t like playing outside Newcastle. If they liked playing outside Newcastle, they wouldn’t be called Newcastle, would they? Stop staring! You know that makes sense!

Portsmouth 0 – 0 West Ham — Bellamy v. Hreidarsson: maybe the only double-booked near-fight in Premier League history not to have inspired a single YouTube visit.

Birmingham 3 – 2 Wigan — What are the odds that Carson Yeung is actually a small-town accountant playing the greatest prank in modern soccer history? Have they actually cashed that £15m check? “Who said anything about Hong Kong?” he’ll say, looking around the boardroom table in wonder. “I’m from Minchinhampton.” And then he’ll just walk into the sunset, cackling softly to himself.

Sunderland 1 – 1 Fulham — People like to talk about how this Sunderland team has taken on the qualities of its manager. And it’s true: Roy Keane, playing by himself, would also be unable to do more than draw against Fulham.

Chelsea 6 – 0 Manchester City — And finally…Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Avram Grant!

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A Line Under Sunday, October 28

by Brian Phillips · October 28, 2007

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