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, January 20

Benjani Mwaruwari pointing.Portsmouth 3 – 1 Derby — Portsmouth’s Benjani Mwaruwari now has two hat-tricks against Premier League teams this season. Combining all Derby’s players into one superhuman aggregate for the purpose of comparing statistics, the best they’ve managed is a brace against Sheffield Wednesday.

Fulham 0 – 3 Arsenal — Adebayor scored two in this game, lending further credence to my theory that the real trick of managing a Premier League team today is figuring out in advance which African countries are too bad to qualify for the Nations Cup.

Wigan 1 – 2 Everton — Short, declarative sentences are the way to speak about Everton. They won the match. And they didn’t need semicolons to do it.

Manchester City 1 – 1 West Ham — As they slide down the table in their stately and melancholy way, I’d like to think Man City are able to derive some comfort from revisiting old memories as they pass them going down. “There’s Everton, look! Remember when we played them? Ah, Liverpool. That was a stirring day. We were better than you in September, Aston Villa! Think of us next year when you’re playing Rapid Bucharest!”

Blackburn 1 – 1 Middlesbrough — Blackburn fans are still basking in the relief they feel over Mark Hughes not leaving the club for Newcastle. Rest assured, Blackburn fans. You’ll be drawing with Middlesbrough for many years to come.

Newcastle 0 – 0 Bolton — Anthracite is a hard, black coal containing a high percentage of fixed carbon and a low percentage of volatile matter. It burns without much smoke. You could stare at it for 90 minutes, if you wanted to.

Birmingham 0 – 1 Chelsea — In its almost unimaginably tiny way, the Sunderland-Birmingham match is shaping up to be a massive game next week.

Reading 0 – 2 Manchester United — Reading played rather bravely in this match, which got them a rather narrow defeat and rather zero points.

Tottenham 2 – 0 Sunderland — If you’ll recall, it was Tottenham’s loss to Sunderland in their season opener that started the whisper campaign against Martin Jol. So I’m sure this scoreline will make him feel much better.

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A Line Under Sunday, January 20

by Brian Phillips · January 21, 2008

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