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, November 25

Fulham 2 – 2 Blackburn — The hot stat of the week is that if you counted only the first halves of matches, Fulham would be first in the league. What no one’s pointed out is that if you counted only the second halves of matches, they would be dead behind a Superquinn in Leinster.

Bolton 1 – 0 Manchester United — And you know, had the Bolton players actually been fitted with handguns, this one could have finished 2-0.

Birmingham 0 – 2 Portsmouth — The photographic evidence is disputed, but if you run the right query on Flickr you can see someone who looks suspiciously like Carson Yeung scrounging for loose coins in the St. Andrews car park.

Middlesbrough 0 – 3 Aston Villa — A lot of complicated things about Martin O’Neill, the England job, how you think about Steve McClaren, and the existence of a hierarchy of talent within football were summed up by this match. I’m not sure how, exactly, but they were.

Derby 0 – 2 Chelsea — Entertainment 0.

Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan — “Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan” is all you ever need to know about this match. Frankly, I’m not sure you even need to know that much.

Manchester City 2 – 1 Reading — Apart from the odd Harry Potter book and an occasional mental-health pamphlet, Stephen Ireland never really did like Reading.

Newcastle 0 – 3 Liverpool — Nice win for Liverpool and all, but does anyone else find it the least bit odd that Peter Crouch was stuck on the bench so that Dirk Kuyt could score by accident and Fernando Torres could miss 3289 chances? We do all know that Crouch had more goals and more assists than Steven Gerrard last year, right? No one’s confused on this? Perfect.

Everton 7 – 1 Sunderland — As every fan of Rome knows somewhere deep in their bones, Sunderland manager Titus Pullo never really stood a chance against Everton’s Lucius Vorenus.

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A Line Under Sunday, November 25

by Brian Phillips · November 26, 2007

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