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, February 10

Vassell gestures calmly for Man City.Man Utd 1 – 2 Man City — The Man City supporters impeccably observed the minute of silence in honor of the victims of the ’58 Munich air crash. Not to be outdone, the Man Utd supporters then impeccably observed ninety-four consecutive minutes of silence that lasted until the end of the match.

Derby 0 – 3 Tottenham — Oh, Derby. How I’ve come to love your bumbling predictability. You’re like the next-door neighbor in the sitcom, always ready to trip on the azaleas or step on the low-lying rake. Plus, during the closing credits, there’s a puncher’s chance that Robbie Savage will lose his mind and gnaw through someone’s ear.

Middlesbrough 1 – 0 Fulham — Middlesbrough are on an impressive run and haven’t lost in any competition since New Year’s Day. Fulham, on the other hand, lost three or four times just on the way to the stadium.

Chelsea 0 – 0 Liverpool — Final score if Peter Crouch were more adept at headers: 38-0 to Liverpool. Final score if Dirk Kuyt were faster than a museum dinosaur: 11-0 to Liverpool. Final score if Michael Ballack were playing at his peak: 0-0 (mysterious).

Aston Villa 4 – 1 Newcastle — “Our pawns were unbelievable,” Martin O’Neill said with an enigmatic smile after crushing Kevin Keegan at chess. “I thought the rooks were fierce, and the queen showed real fighting spirit.”

Bolton 0 – 1 Portsmouth — Harry Redknapp called Lasanna Diarra “one of the best midfield players in the Premier League” when he signed him from Arsenal last month. And he would have been right, had he added “…when he’s allowed to play flagrantly offside.”

West Ham 1 – 1 Birmingham — Sweet Lee Bowyer was sent off for violent behavior during this match. The violence was directed at members of the other team, however, which, when Lee Bowyer is involved, has to be seen as a step in a positive direction.

Everton 1 – 0 Reading — Stephen Hunt tried to kill Lee Carsley at one point, and was running around screaming while being dragged back by three of his teammates, his coach, and the referee. And maybe some words were said, and maybe some relationships changed forever. But life moves forward at its own pace, and for Everton, that’s one 1-0 victory at a time.

Sunderland 2 – 0 Wigan — Dickson Etuhu / Unaided by voodoo / Plays worse than ManYoo do / But better than you do. (—Stadium of Light Verse)

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A Line Under Sunday, February 10

by Brian Phillips · February 10, 2008

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